At least six people have died and nine others were injured in a liquid nitrogen leak at a poultry plant in Georgia on Thursday, officials said.
Firefighters responded to the Prime Pak Foods plant in Gainesville, Ga., at 10:12 a.m. after a report of burns, Zach Brackett, a Hall County fire division chief, said at a news conference.
Once there, the firefighters found a “large contingent of employees that had evacuated, along with multiple victims that were in that crowd that were also experiencing medical emergencies around the facility,” Chief Brackett said.
Five people were found dead at the scene and a sixth person died after being taken to the emergency department at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, according to Beth Downs, a medical center spokeswoman.
Three others at the medical center were in critical condition and six were in fair condition, Ms. Downs said. Those being treated included three Gainesville firefighters and one Hall County firefighter, Chief Brackett said.
Another 130 people were taken by school buses to a church for evaluation by medical personnel from Northeast Georgia Health Systems, Chief Brackett said.
Chief Brackett said that the authorities were investigating what he called a “leak of unknown cause” that had occurred at the plant.
The Georgia state fire marshal, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were among the agencies involved in the investigation.
Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia said in a statement that “our hearts are broken after hearing about the tragedy that took place at Prime Pak Foods in Gainesville this morning.”
He said he and his family had asked all Georgians “to join us in praying for the families facing a terrible loss and the other employees who are receiving medical care.”
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