A leak from an ammonia gas tank at a food supplier's industrial unit in Whitefield caused a "chemical incident", it has been confirmed.

Emergency services were sent to the industrial estate at Park Seventeen at around 12.30pm yesterday, Monday after being told about the problem.

The road was sealed off for hours as fire crews worked to make the area safe.

Residents were advised to avoid the area and to keep their windows and doors shut.

Five homes were evacuated on nearby Nuttall Avenue as a precaution too.

Police and paramedics were also called to the scene but no-one was reported to have been injured.

Today, Tuesday, Kara Foodservice, which is based at the site, said a leak in a tank of ammonia gas – a common refrigerant – was caused during "routine maintenance".

All staff were evacuated from the building

Emergency vehicles were still in attendance at 6pm as a clean-up was still required to make sure the building was safe.

Workers were eventually allowed to enter the cordoned off area to drive home but they were not allowed back in the building to collect personal items due to safety reasons.

A Kara Foodservice spokesman said: “We can confirm there was an incident at our site yesterday (Monday).

“A leak in a tank of ammonia gas – a common refrigerant – was caused during some routine maintenance by our approved contractor.

“The site was immediately evacuated in line with procedure and the emergency services were called to assist.

“We can confirm that the site has now been made safe, no one suffered any harm, no food was contaminated, and we do not anticipate any environmental impact.

“We are grateful to the emergency services for their efforts in bringing the situation under control and expect to be back up and running in the coming days.”