Kellogg evacuates headquarters in Michigan after Freon leak

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 29, 2017 6:08 PM

(Reuters) - The southern Michigan headquarters of food producer Kellogg Co were evacuated and nearly two dozen people were transported to hospital for treatment due to a Freon leak on Wednesday, fire and company officials said.

The leak occurred on the fifth floor of Kellogg's headquarters in downtown Battle Creek, Michigan, some 120 miles (190 km) west of Detroit at around 10:40 a.m. local time, the Battle Creek Fire Department said in a statement. The leak occurred in the north tower of the building, the company said in a statement.

A couple hundred people were evacuated from the building and 23 people were transported to two local hospitals, some with difficulty breathing, the fire department said. Other employees were relocated to the south side of the building from the north side where the leak occurred.

Fire officials shut off the Freon, a refrigerant used for cooling, and the building was declared clear by the fire department at around 1:40 p.m.

All employees have been released from the hospital and the building is now safe, Kellogg said.

The company produces a number of popular food brands including Corn Flakes cereal and Cheez-It crackers.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)