6 people killed after liquid nitrogen leak at Georgia food processing plant

6 people killed after liquid nitrogen leak at Georgia food processing plant”

Officials said that three Gainesville firefighters and one firefighter from Hall County were among those taken to the hospital.

Mr Brackett said there was no explosion, and the cause of the leak remains under investigation.

Last month, two workers at a Golden West Food Group plant in Los Angeles County, lost consciousness and died following an apparent liquid nitrogen leak there, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The Hall County Sheriff's Office is managing the investigation, he said.

Nitrogen is often used in refrigeration systems and can not be detected by smell in the air.

Five people died at the plant before they could be taken to hospital, while one person died in the emergency room, police from Gainesville, Georgia, told reporters, adding that 10 people were transported to hospital.

Georgia is a leading poultry-producing state and Gainesville is at the centre of the industry.

The Foundation Food Group plant processes raw chicken into products like frozen chicken tenders and individual chicken cuts for restaurants and food service operations.

Previous safety violations at the plant show no problems with the refrigeration system.

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The most serious of those was in September 2015, when 28 violations were initially cited, including citations for failing to make sure machines were properly safeguarded when being maintained to prevent injuries. In two separate incidents from 2017, two employees suffered finger amputations after getting their hands stuck in equipment. That number has been trending downward.

Those who died included maintenance, supervisory and management team members, spokesman Nicholas Ancrum said.

Fourteen workers died from asphyxiation linked to nitrogen in United States accidents from 2012 to 2020, according to figures quoted by the AP news agency.

Three patients were in critical condition.

A police officer directs traffic following a liquid nitrogen leak that killed six people.

One of those hospitalized is a firefighter who is expected to be OK and should be released on Friday, according to Brackett.

"He's doing well and he should be going home tomorrow", Brackett said.

A school bus took 130 employees to a church for evaluation by medical personnel, officials said. The shelter in place order was lifted Thursday afternoon. But the facility, which processes chicken products, changed hands to Foundation Food Group on January 1, officials said.

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