FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — An accidental mixture of chemicals produced chlorine fumes that affected part of Tyson Foods’ Berry Street poultry plant in Springdale on the morning of June 27 forcing an evacuation of the plant.

“We immediately evacuated 300 team members and contacted the local fire department,” Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson told MEATPOULTRY.com via e-mail. “Since some of our people were affected by the fumes, ambulances were also called. One-hundred seventy-three of our people were subsequently taken either by ambulance or regional transit bus to five local hospitals to be assessed. Forty-five Tyson team members have been admitted while the remainder have either been released or are still awaiting examination.”

Since the incident, both the fire department and Tyson officials have tested the air quality in the affected area of the plant and found it to be safe. As a result, second-shift production started on the afternoon of June 27 as scheduled. The accident is under investigation.

“We extend our thanks to the Springdale Fire Department and other local emergency officials for their quick response and assistance,” he said. “This was an unfortunate incident and we’re saddened by its impact on our team members.”