Albert Heijn in Best evacuated after refrigerant gas was released
An Albert Heijn in Best was evacuated on Saturday morning because of a leak in which refrigerant gas was released in the store. In total, about 35 kilograms of gas was released, a spokesperson for the Brabant-Zuidoost fire brigade reported after reporting by Omroep Brabant. The gas, also called R134A, deprives space of oxygen, which means it can suffocate people in high concentrations.
A number of people may have inhaled the gas. Because the gas in the Albert Heijn had a "quite low concentration," according to the spokesperson, it could "do no harm." To be on the safe side, an ambulance was called in case people did develop irritated airways. No one was taken to hospital for further checkups.
The leak has now been repaired. It is unclear when and how the leak started. The mechanic and an adviser from the fire brigade are still in the Albert Heijn on Boterhoek for an inspection.
After ventilation, the supermarket can determine whether it can still open today. The fire service recommends that experts are first consulted in such cases. This can determine whether the gas may have had an effect on the foodstuffs in the supermarket.
The refrigerant gas is a greenhouse gas, which if released can contribute to global warming. "The amount of 35 kilos is currently so low that we can ventilate the supermarket without any problems," said the fire service spokesperson. "The expected environmental impact is minimal."
Reporting by ANP.