06/21/09 186 W, 2 I - + 13 - 5 Ammonia Release at Robeson County Poultry Plant

One person was killed and four others were injured yesterday when a high-pressure refrigeration line ruptured just before 10:00 a.m. at a poultry plant on N.C. Highway 71 in Lumber Bridge. The five victims suffered chemical burns from escaping anhydrous ammonia gas. Two were transported to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, with one transferred to the UNC burn center. Two were transported to Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton. Another 30 to 40 employees also evacuated. The plant employs 2,500 workers. Click to enlarge aerial photos:

WTVD Photos

Employees were reportedly performing maintenance on a piece of equipment. The Fayetteville Fire Department's haz-mat team(s) responded to the scene-- including North Carolina Hazardous Materials Regional Response Team (RRT) 3-- along with other fire and EMS agencies. Highway 71 was closed for about a mile during the incident. No evacuations of residents was ordered, however. The leak was contained within a couple hours. The incident also drew immediate comparisons to the recent ConAgra explosion in Garner. Read more: 

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