DAWSON, Ga. – After assessing the damage of an April 18 chemical fire at its poultry processing plant in Dawson, Georgia, which resulted in evacuation of the facility and the temporary closure of nearby schools, officials at Tyson Foods Inc. announced this past week that the plant will not be reopening. No injuries resulted from the incident, but in a memo to employees issued this past week, Doug Ramsey, group president of poultry, said the damage at the plant was substantial.

“We took a detailed look at what it would take to rebuild the Dawson, Georgia, facility,” according to the memo. “Based on a number of factors, we’ve made the difficult decision to permanently close the facility.”

About 300 employees worked at the plant on a full-time basis and all of them have been compensated at their regular rate of pay since then and will be through June 2. Production at the plant was handled by other Tyson facilities, including its Vienna, Georgia, plant, where hourly workers will be offered employment. Management-level employees will be offered options to apply for positions at Tyson’s other operations across the US.

“We’ll be adding capacity at other facilities to continue to grow with our customers,” Ramsey said. “Thank you to everyone for your commitment to this business, for caring for our team members and customers during this transition, and for everything you do for Tyson Foods.”