Koch Foods Ammonia Leak Sends 22 to Hospital

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 @ 04:12 PM gHale

An ammonia leak at a Koch Foods poultry plant in Gadsden, Alabama, led to 22 people going to the hospital for evaluation.

The leak ended up reported at 4:23 p.m. on November 30, and soon after emergency responders were notified, the plant was evacuated.

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The 22 people sent to hospitals were monitored and/or treated as a precautionary measure, said officials with the Gadsden/Etowah County Emergency Management Agency (EMA).

Officials felt it was important to have those people evaluated because the ammonia was not dissipating due to weather conditions.

As another precaution, traffic was restricted in areas around the plant until about 7 p.m. Around that same time, workers were allowed to return inside to gather their belongings that had been left inside, but they were then dismissed for the evening.

In August, Koch Foods said the plant in Gadsden would be expanding. The company’s expansion plans call for the addition of a fourth processing line, which is expected to increase the plant’s production capacity by about 30 percent. When the expansion is completed, an estimated 200 jobs will be added.

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