UPDATE: ‘Full investigation’ into cause of Ineos gas leak

Police closed off roads around the Ineos refinery due to a gas leak. Picture: Michael Gillen
Police closed off roads around the Ineos refinery due to a gas leak. Picture: Michael Gillen

Emergency services say the gas leak at the Ineos petrochemical site in Grangemouth has been contained.

The major incident was reported at 12.15pm today following a gas leak inside the refinery’s Kinneil Gas manufacturing plant which forced staff to be evacuated and a number of surrounding roads to be closed off to vehicles and pedestrians.

Residents as far away as the Braes area say a loud alarm sounded out from the plant which caused concern about public safety.

Falkirk Council says it was advised by the emergency services to keep local schoolchildren in buildings during the lunchtime break as a precaution, while Falkirk Football Club also closed its club shop due to the incident.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, which led the multi-agency response including ambulance and the council, had eight fire appliances on the scene.

Police Scotland Superintendent Brian Auld confirmed “the incident has been contained on site” and expert personnel are in attendance, and said it was now safe for the public to “go about their normal business”.

A police spokesperson said: “Emergency services have responded to a major incident following a gas leak at the Ineos site at Grangemouth.

“The incident was initially reported at 12.15pm on Tuesday, May 2, and a multi-agency response was initiated.

“Officers would advise members of the public to go about their normal business.

“Local road closures are in place. Details can be found on Police Scotland’s Facebook and Twitter pages.”

It is not yet known what caused the leak.

Ineos issued a statement saying: “Ineos can confirm that at there was an incident at our KG (Kinneil Gas) plant today.

“Staff were evacuated from the immediate area and, our well-practised emergency procedures were implemented, with the incident management team being mobilised.

“As a precautionary measure we asked police Scotland to close the Wholeflats Road. Our on-site emergency response team and the emergency services are attending the incident.

“The incident was caused by a leak on a pipe carrying ethylene gas which has been identified and is being isolated.

“Measures were put in place to contain the leak in the immediate vicinity of the affected plant and as an ongoing precaution road closures remain in place.

“All of the people working in the area have been accounted for and there were no injuries. Other areas within the Grangemouth complex, including the adjacent refinery were unaffected by the incident.

“A full investigation into the cause of the incident is underway. The regulators have been kept fully informed throughout.”