Three people have been hospitalised after inhaling ammonia which leaked from a shipping container in Christchurch this afternoon.
Emergency services were called to a business in Waltham at 1.08pm after the gas leak.
Police also attended and blocked off Mowbray St while firefighters in chemical gear dispersed the toxic gas.
St John staff could only enter the Mowbray St site, stacked high with hundreds of shipping containers once they were given the all clear by the Fire Service.
Three people were treated by ambulance staff and taken to the Christchurch Hospital emergency department.
A spokesman for St John said they were in a "moderate condition".