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15 hospitalized after 'hazardous material leak' at Lancaster warehouse, officials say

The incident happened at a food distribution warehouse near I-20 and I-35E.

LANCASTER, Texas — At least 15 workers have been taken to hospitals after a "hazardous material leak" at a warehouse in Lancaster, city officials said.

The incident happened at a United Natural Foods (UNFI) distribution warehouse on Danieldale Road, near Interstate 20 and Interstate 35E.

Hazmat crews from Lancaster, Ovilla, Grand Prairie, Cedar Hill and Glenn Heights responded to the area to investigate the reported leak.

Officials have not confirmed the contents of the leak. The incident was initially reported as a possible ammonia leak.

The warehouse was also evacuated, but officials added that 15 workers were affected enough by the leak that they had to be transported to a hospital for treatment. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

In a statement to WFAA, UNFI said workers began smelling an odor believed to be ammonia around 12 p.m.

"The safety of our associates is our top priority, and we are working closely with the fire department to assess the situation and determine when it is safe to open and return to the [distribution center]," UNFI said in its statement.

Hazmat crews with fully protective breathing apparatus could be seen going in and out of the warehouse to investigate. A massive fan mounted on a truck was also brought to help remove air from the facility.

By 5 p.m., hazmat crews cleared the area. The distribution warehouse is expected to be reopened and in operation.

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