An ammonia leak that could have posed a major risk to the public at the port in Bluff, has been contained.
The Fire Service was called to South Port at 11.30pm last night, and found a large warehouse on fire, and ammonia leaking from a refrigeration system.
Forty fire fighters, seven fire trucks and the Hazmat Command Unit have been at the scene, but the fire is now out, and the site has been handed back to Port Authority.
Invercargill Fire Service senior station officer Deane Chalmers said the gas leak had the potential to become a significant event.
"If the worst case scenario had happened with it becoming a major leak, then we would have been looking at a significant evacuation area, probably in excess of 800 metres in all directions from that site, which would have encompassed a number of houses from the Bluff township."
A specialist fire investigator will be back on scene tomorrow.