Tyson Foods plant fire spurs evacuations, school closures

by Erica Shaffer
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DAWSON, Ga. – Multiple crews of firefighters responded to a chemical fire in the dock area of a Tyson Foods Inc. poultry processing plant in Dawson, Georgia, on April 18.

Dozens of homes were evacuated, but no injuries were reported. As a precautionary measure, local schools were closed on April 19 because of the schools’ proximity to the plant.

“Our team members were evacuated and there were no injuries,” Tyson Foods said in a statement. “We’re grateful for area fire departments and their quick response. The incident involved the release of ammonia, which is used as a refrigerant at the plant. The leak has been isolated and we’re working to determine the root cause. The plant will not operate the rest of this week. We’re evaluating the damage and will determine when we might resume operations sometime next week.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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