Two hundred Coca-Cola workers evacuated from London plant

Firefighters were called to Cray Road in Sidcup (Google Maps)
Firefighters were called to Cray Road in Sidcup (Google Maps)

Hundreds of workers at a Coca-Cola plant in south-east London were evacuated following a chemical leak, with firefigthers working at the scene throughout the night.

A hydrochloric acid leak at the plant on Cray Road in Sidcup caused the evacuation of around 200 workers before emergency services arrived on Wednesday evening.

London Fire Brigade firefighters isolated the leak at 11.30pm and remained at the scene throughout the night taking readings of chemicals in the air.

Teams used chemical equipment to test the levels of chemicals in the area and worked on site to disperse it.

There were no reports of injuries.

The Brigade was called at 8.39pm and the incident was handed over to onsite management at 05.26am.

“The leak was isolated at approximately 23:30 and we remained on scene throughout the night doing checks before we left. The incident is now over,” the Brigade said in a statement.

“There was no evacuation of residents, and no-one was treated by emergency services. We are not aware of any advice to close windows and doors.”

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola Europacific Partners said: “Our production site at Sidcup was temporarily evacuated last night as a precautionary measure. There was no risk to any of our colleagues and the issue has now been resolved.

“Our site is now back operating as normal. We would like to thank the emergency services for their swift response and support, and would like to apologise to local residents for any disruption caused overnight.”

Hydrochloric acid is used for refining ore in the production of tin and tantalum, for pickling and cleaning of metal products. It is a clear, colourless and pungent solution.