China's Xinhua News Agency reported that the blaze started following a series of explosions, which were attributed to an ammonia leak. Workers were quoted as saying the fire started during a shift change in a locker room. As many as 350 workers were at the plant which is located in outside the city of Dehui about 250 miles northeast of Beijing. At least 54 people were being treated at hospitals.
Jilin Baoyuanfeng produces 67,000 tons of process chicken annually and employs 1,200 workers, according to the Associated Press.