ATLANTA — According to authorities in Gainesville, Ga., six people died and at least a dozen more have been in the hospital following a liquid nitrogen leak at the Prime-Pak Foods poultry plant on Jan. 28.

Hall County Fire Department Division Chief, Zach Brackett, said the cause of the leak was unknown and officials were still gathering information at the scene. All patients were sent to Northeast Georgia Health System in Gainesville.  

Local fire departments responded to a call around 10:12 a.m. on Jan. 28 to reports of burns at the plant. At the time, firefighters saw many employees evacuating the facility.

Following the leak, 130 people from the facility were transferred by school bus to a local church for evaluation.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s office released a statement the day of the incident.

“Our hearts are broken hearing about the tragedy that took place at Prime-Pak Foods in Gainesville this morning,” the statement said. “Officials from the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are on the ground to assist with the local response and investigations into the incident.”

Prime-Pak is a beef, poultry and pork plant. In October 2020, the company entered into a co-packing partnership with Victory Processing Inc., as part of the Foundation Food Group.