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A liquid nitrogen leak at a Georgia poultry plant has killed at least six people and injured multiple others. According to officials, the leak happened at Prime Pak Foods on Jan. 28, 2021.
Officials have confirmed the leak occurred around 10 a.m. EST. Initially, the issue was reported as an explosion but has since been clarified.
The Hall County school officials have stated that students have been kept safe in the nearby elementary school. Further reports say that the liquid nitrogen leak is not airborne. Authorities have shut down about 1.5 miles of the road that runs in front of the school and plant. The school has been closed.
Prime Pak foods merged with a company that takes raw chicken and processes it for items like chicken fingers and chicken cuts for restaurants — Foundation Food Group.
The nation’s largest poultry industry is located in Gainesville, Georgia. Thousands of employees work for the multiple processing plants there.
During the news conference — held on Thursday afternoon — officials announced that five people lost their lives at the plant. Ten others were taken to a nearby hospital where one succumbed to their injuries — bringing the death toll to six.
Three victims remain in critical condition. Five have been stated to be in fair condition. According to Zach Brackett, Hall County Services’ spokesman, multiple agencies have responded to the incident. First responders established the incident involved liquid nitrogen — a hazardous material — and called in a hazmat team.
Around 130 employees were transported to a nearby church for medical evaluation. Three of the victims hospitalized — from the liquid nitrogen — were Gainesville firefighters.
Representatives from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the state’s Fire Marshal’s Office are on the scene investigating the liquid nitrogen leak.
Authorities are still searching for the cause of the leak of liquid nitrogen.
Written by Sheena Robertson
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: NEW DETAILS: 6 dead after liquid nitrogen leak at Gainesville plant
Featured Image Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License