GADSDEN, Ala. – Twenty-two people were hospitalized following an anhydrous ammonia leak at a Koch Foods poultry processing plant in Gadsden, Alabama, on Nov. 30, the Gadsden/Etowah County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) reported. First responders successfully contained the leak at 6:51 p.m. that evening.
Plant personnel were evacuated from the building and first responders evaluated individuals for symptoms of ammonia exposure on the scene, officials said. Plant personnel were transported off-site to Gadsden Public Library by the City of Gadsden Trolley Service due to rain in the area. Paramedics and law enforcement accompanied the trolleys to Gadsden Public Library out of an abundance of caution.
As of Dec. 3, no update was available on the condition of the 22 individuals transported from the scene. “At no time was there any threat to the public and no evacuations were necessary — other than the personnel on the plant grounds,” the EMA reported.
Employees that were evacuated were allowed to return to the facility and collect their personal property. The plant was closed overnight. Koch Foods did not respond to requests for comment.