Leak Forces NC Plant to Evacuate

Friday, October 16, 2015 @ 04:10 PM gHale

An ammonia leak forced the evacuation of the Smithfield Packing Co. early Monday morning in Tar Heel, NC, officials said.

No one suffered an injury in the mishap, which emptied the pork processing plant for several hours.

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The leak apparently started near the top of the building at 1:15 a.m., said Bradley Kinlaw, Bladen County emergency services director. Kinlaw said he did not know the cause of the leak, and Smithfield officials would not comment.

“They had it contained within 15 or so minutes,” Kinlaw said. “It took them several hours after that to get the building ventilated.”

Kinlaw said Smithfield’s own hazardous materials team handled the incident.