At Least 6 Poultry Plant Workers Killed in Liquid Nitrogen Leak, Reports Say
At least six people were killed and 11 injured this morning at Foundation Food Group, a poultry processing plant about 55 miles outside of Atlanta, Georgia, due to a rupture in a line carrying liquid nitrogen, reports the The New York Times.
"Preliminary indications are that a nitrogen line ruptured inside the facility," Nicholas Ancrum, the vice president of human resources at Foundation Food Group, said in a news conference—calling the incident a "tragic accident." As the newspaper explains, liquid nitrogen is often used to control the temperature of chicken at poultry processing plants for quick and efficient processing.
"Those lost today include maintenance, supervisory, and management team members," Ancrum added. According to The New York Times, five victims were found dead at the scene and one died after being transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville. Three others remain in critical condition and five in fair condition at the hospital. Three others have been treated and released. All suffered from respiratory issues.
Firefighters arrived at Foundation Food Group at 10:12 a.m. and found most of the poultry plant's employees had been evacuated. 130 employees were then moved to a nearby church for medical evaluation.
"Every team member is equally important to us and our hearts go out to their families and communities who have suffered such a devastating loss," Ancrum told the press.
He also added: "Foundation Food Group takes workplace safety very seriously, and works constantly to adopt and implement the most effective safety programs available to the industry. Until this investigation is completed, we cannot say with confidence precisely how this accident occurred."
Unfortunately, this is not the first tragedy to occur at a chicken processing plant in America.