Liquid nitrogen leak at US Georgia poultry plant kills 6 | Employees’ Rights Information
Five people died in the factory before they could be taken to hospital, and another died in the emergency room.
Six people were killed in a liquid nitrogen leak in a poultry factory in Georgia on Thursday and several more were rushed to hospital.
Beth Downs, a health system spokeswoman for northeast Georgia, said five people died at the Gainesville plant before they could be hospitalized, while one person died in the emergency room.
Hall County Fire Department chief Zach Brackett said firefighters reacted to the leak after 10 a.m. at Prime Pak Foods.
“When the units arrived, they found a large contingent of staff who had been evacuated, as well as several victims in that crowd, who were also experiencing medical emergencies in the vicinity of the facility,” Brackett told reporters at a televised press conference .
According to Brackett, firefighters, the U.S. Labor Protection Agency, and the state firefighter were investigating what had happened. Poultry factories rely on cooling systems that can contain liquid nitrogen.
“It was a leak of unknown origin that occurred in the system,” said Brackett. “We still have a lot of information that we want to collect from the scene.”
Sean Couch, another health system spokesman, said of the nine other injured patients, three were admitted to Gainesville Hospital in critical condition. Five were treated in the emergency room and were in good condition. One was on his way to the emergency room when Couch spoke.
At least four firefighters were injured and taken to hospital with what Brackett called “respiratory problems”.
Brackett said about 130 workers were taken by bus to a nearby church where they were examined for injuries. Couch said a person was taken to the hospital from there.
Hall County school officials said students were being moved to safety at a nearby elementary school and the leak was contained, not in the air. About 2.5 km of a road that runs in front of the plant and the school have been blocked.
Prime Pak Foods merged to form Foundation Food Group, a company that processes raw chicken into products such as chicken fingers and individual chicken cuts for restaurants and food service establishments. The company’s CEO did not immediately return a call for comment.
Gainesville is the center of the Georgian poultry industry, the largest in the country. Thousands of employees work for several processing plants.
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