Liquid nitrogen leaks at a poultry processing plant in Gainesville, Georgia, has claimed 6 lives. As per the officials, six workers were killed by the liquid nitrogen while many were taken to hospital after the leak.
Gainesville is the largest hub of Georgia’s poultry industry. Thousands of people are employed in many such poultry processing plants across Gainesville.
Liquid Nitrogen Leak At Georgia Food Plant Killed 6
Poultry plants need refrigeration systems. The refrigeration process generally makes use of liquid nitrogen. According to U.S. Chemical Safety Board, Liquid nitrogen is capable of displacing oxygen in the air. It is a colorless and odorless gas, and the leak might go unnoticed. In closed cabins or areas, the leaked nitrogen gas creates a scarcity of breathable oxygen.
Zachary Brackett of Hall County Fire Services was informed about the burns at the Foundation Food facility, once known as Prime Pak Foods, at around 10:12 am on Thursday. Fire crews from Hall County and Gainesville immediately responded to the incident.
According to Brackett, upon arrival, the fire crew found a large group of employees that had already evacuated the facility. Many people in and around the impacted area were in dire need of emergency medical assistance. About 130 people have evacuated the poultry processing plant.
Brackett confirmed that 5 workers of the facility died at the scene.
The director of public relations for Northeast Georgia Health System, Sean Couch, claimed that out of the 12 people who were hospitalized for treatment, one died in the emergency room.
Couch also informed that 3 people are in critical condition while 5 are in fair condition. The injured people include 3 Gainesville firefighters and 1 Hall County firefighter. These people had respiratory complaints. Brackett confirmed that no firefighter lost his life.
The cause of the liquid nitrogen leak at the poultry processing plant is still under investigation. However, Brackett informed that no explosion at the accident scene was reported.
Nicholas Ancrum is the vice president of human resources at Foundation Food Group. He reported that the preliminary investigation report of the site indicates a nitrogen line rupture. Although, they could not claim anything precisely about the cause of the gas leak at the plant before the investigation is over.
The death investigation of the 6 workers at the Foundation Food Group is looked into by Hall County’s Sherriff’s office.
Ancrum identified the deceased as the people from maintenance supervisory and management team members. He expressed his deep condolence for the deceased and their family members. Ancrum said that every team member is equally important for the facility, and their heart is with the family and community who suffered the loss.
Governor Brian Kemp informed that the officials from the office of insurance and safety fire, the Georgia emergency management and the occupational safety and health administration have reached the site for investigation.
Gov. Brian also expresses his condolences to the family. He said that it is heartbreaking to hear about the lives lost to Prime Pak Foods’ tragedy. Marty, the girls, and he himself are joining the whole of Georgia to pray for the families who faced such a terrible loss. He expressed his sympathy to the employees who got injured and are receiving medical care. He asked God to place a hand of peace, comfort and healing on the sufferers of the tragedy in the days ahead.
Ancrum said that the Prime Park food was acquired and purchased by Foundation Food Group early in January. Foundation Food Group is a privately owned food facility. They have 4 such facilities in the area of Gainesville, and Gainesville is situated 60 miles northeast of Atlanta.
The tragic incident that took place is under investigation. As per the officials, it is not a quick task and is going to take time before the investigation is over.