A liquid nitrogen leak at a poultry plant northeast of Atlanta killed six workers and hospitalized 11 others. Officials say at least three of the victims are in critical condition.
Authorities are now searching for the cause of the leak at the Foundation Food Group plant in Gainesville, Georgia. The Chemical Safety Board will also send a team of investigators to the scene. County Sheriff Gerald Couch stressed that the investigation is likely to be “lengthy.” Jamil Farid, one of about 130 employees evacuated from the plant Thursday morning, told Channel 2 Action News that the leak caused real chaos. “At first we just thought there was something wrong with the freezer, and then we were told, ‘run. – recalls Farid – I saw the fog, but I didn’t feel anything like that.”
Five workers were found dead at the plant. A sixth victim was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where he later died. Liquid nitrogen is colorless and odorless and can cause extensive tissue damage in no time. After inhaling large amounts of nitrogen, a person begins to suffer from dizziness, nausea and vomiting – followed by loss of consciousness and, if not treated promptly, death. Poultry farms typically use liquid nitrogen for refrigeration systems.