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Tesco store evacuated after 'CO2 refrigeration leak'

A reported burst pipe from a refrigeration unit in Tesco’s Newbury store leaked CO2 onto the shop floor on Saturday, forcing an evacuation of the building.

According to Newburytoday.co.uk, “Fire crews from Newbury, Hungerford and Reading attended the Tesco store on the A4 London Road shortly after 5pm yesterday after one of the refrigeration units began leaking carbon dioxide.

The crew manager for Red Watch at Newbury Fire Station, Bob Mitchell, said: “A pipe burst and it leaked gas into the shop.

“There was a cloud of gas coming out under high pressure so they evacuated the store.

“We had to make sure that it wasn’t a harmful chemical.”

He added that an engineer was called to the scene to repair the burst pipe, and that the fire crews used breathing apparatus and a gas monitoring appliance throughout.

The crews left at around 6:30pm while the engineer was still on-site.

It has not yet been confirmed how long the store was closed as a result of the incident, but reports suggest it was re-opened later that evening.”

Readers' comments (3)

  • Don’t jump to conclusions because it was a Co2 system.
    It was a materials failure and of course the correct action in evacuating the store was undertaken in the circumstances by all parties. What would be interesting would be why the pipe failed ie materials failure or poor brazing techniques? This might be about up skilling in basic refrigeration installation skills.

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  • It wasnt a brazed fitting that failed.

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  • I've known this happen due to poor piping circuit design allowing liquid refrigerant to burst the wall of the pipe by hydraulic action. A solid bore of liquid was trapped in a section closed off during defrost. With nowhere to go the pressure simply split the wall of the copper tubing. This immediately released a small quantity of refrigerant. However, before an engineer was able to attend the circuit was brought off defrost, solenoids opened and the entire pack refrigerant content was discharged into the store. (R502 days). Such fun!!

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