Ammonia Leak Forces NC Plant Evacuation

Tue, 08/16/2011 - 9:22am

MARSHVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A spokesman for a turkey processing plant in Union County says the company is investigating an ammonia leak that forced the evacuation of more than 100 people in the North Carolina community.

Police say ammonia leaked from a refrigeration unit about 4 a.m. Tuesday at the Pilgrim's Pride plant near Marshville.

Pilgrim's Pride spokesman Gary Rhodes says the pipe carrying the ammonia has been shut off. But he doesn't know when the plant with its 550 employees will resume operations.

The plant was evacuated. Local police also evacuated a 1.5-mile area downwind of the plant as a precaution. No injuries have been reported.

Marshville Mayor Frank Deese says company officials told him the leak was due to either over-pressurization or an explosion in a freezer.



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