A liquid nitrogen leak at a Georgia poultry plant killed at least six people and hospitalized 10, authorities said Thursday afternoon.
A spokesperson for the Hall County Fire Department said firefighters had responded to burns at Gainesville’s Prime-Pak Foods Thursday morning and that the scene had later been updated to a hazmat situation, in a briefing streamed by an Atlanta-area NBC affiliate.
Zachary Brackett said that the fatalities included five onsite and one en route to the hospital, but that contrary to earlier reports on social media, no explosion occurred. The cause of the leak remains unknown, he said.
Brackett added that 120 workers had been evaluated for medical issues as a result of the leak and that one was eventually hospitalized.
Those hospitalized included at least five workers and four firefighters, the latter of whom were hospitalized to assess “respiratory complaints.”
“We did have one who died while experiencing treatment in our emergency department,” added Sean Couch, director of public relations for Northeast Georgia Health System. “We have three that have been admitted in critical condition in our critical care unit, and then we have five that are currently being treated in our emergency department, and they’re in fair condition.”
Couch added that an additional person was still en route to the health system’s emergency department.