Chemical spill emergency at Dale Farm milk plant in Cookstown

The Dale Farm plant at Dunman near Cookstown
The Dale Farm plant at Dunman near Cookstown

RESIDENTS in Cookstown were urged to stay in their homes, after a chemical spill at the Dale Farm plant on Saturday.

Firefighters were called to deal with the emergency at around 3.40pm.

District commander Andy Sinclair, from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue (NIFRS), told the BBC that the fumes were caused by a spill from a 1,000 litre drum.

He said up 25 firefighters were involved in the operation and had to wear breathing apparatus and chemical protection suits.

“On arrival, we found a 1,000 litre drum of chemicals had spilled, which was giving off toxic fumes, which were quite evident and could be seen in colour,” the NIFRS commander added.

“We were satisfied that the wind was blowing in the right direction, taking it away into fields, so it wasn’t threatening anybody in the immediate stages.

“Basically, between ourselves and the management team at the premises, we came up with a plan to dilute the chemical with water and flush it to drainage system that they had on site, so it was maintained and kept on site in their own systems.”

In December, high winds threatened the stability of towers at the milk plant.