CANTON, GA. – The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office fire and emergency crews responded to an ammonia leak at the Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. poultry processing plant in Canton, Ga. The incident occurred during the third shift on Jan. 19.

“Cherokee County firefighters and members of the Cherokee County Haz-Mat Team arrived on scene to find a broken ammonia pipe,” said Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services. “Approximately 42 employees ran outside to the back of the building where the leak occurred until help could arrive. Three of the employees were taken to area hospitals to be evaluated for mild to severe injuries.”

As of Jan. 20, one of the injured workers was released while two remained under observation, the company said.

“The facility was not damaged and is open and fully operational today,” the company said. “The incident is currently being investigated internally, with a third-party partner and with OSHA.”

No homes or other businesses besides the plant were evacuated, and firefighters and Hazmat members were able to contain the leak, Cherokee County officials said.