The incident was said to have taken place on Thursday evening, with firefighters arriving at the scene and proceeding to neutralize the gas using remote sealing systems, leading to a drop in readings and danger to human health. Firefighters also carried out monitoring of the area around the plant to ensure there was no danger to the local environment.
No injuries or fatalities were reported. The Ministry of Labour was informed about the incident.
Ammonia is a nitrogen and hydrogen compound widely used as an industrial chemical, and as a raw material in several industries. It is highly toxic to humans in high concentrations and can even cause death. Its production, storage and use thereby require the observance of strict safety rules.
The incident at the Coca-Cola plant comes amid elevated tensions across Israel following two recent incidents, including a blast at a rocket factory in central Israel on Tuesday which authorities claimed was a 'controlled blast', and Thursday morning's launch of a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile into central Israel – with the missile exploding about 40 km from the country’s sensitive and highly secretive nuclear research facility in Dimona. The Israeli military confirmed that an interceptor missile was fired to try to intercept the Syrian SAM, but that it failed. The S-200 entered Israeli airspace following an Israeli air raid. The incident prompted the Israeli Air Force to launch additional attacks against air defences outside Damascus. Syrian media reported that most of the barrage of Israeli missiles was destroyed, but four servicemen were wounded.