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Ammonia leak at Tyson poultry plant sends 8 to hospitals, evacuates 60

Published: Apr. 24, 2016 at 2:54 PM CDT|Updated: May. 8, 2016 at 2:54 PM CDT
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HOPE, AR (KSLA) - Sixty people were evacuated and 8 sanitation workers were taken to area hospitals after an ammonia leak was discovered Saturday morning at a Tyson Foods poultry plant in Hope, Arkansas.

According to a spokesman from Tyson Foods, the leak happened just after 3:00 a.m. The spokesman says the plant was not in operation at the time.

According to Tyson Foods, 7 of the 8 workers were checked and released from the hospital.

"Suffering from some type of exposure to the chemicals inside," said Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton.

The spokesman with the company said one worker was transferred to a Little Rock hospital.

"I don't know how his condition at this time," Singleton said. "They all were employees of Tyson. There were five females and three males."

Just three days ago, Tyson Foods released a statement about a third-party audit showing a 12% decreased in their illness and injury rate from fiscal year 2013 to 2015.

The spokesman from Tyson Foods said the ammonia release has been contained. Tyson Foods operations and safety specialists are investigating what caused the leak.

"That will be left up to Tyson and probably OSHA would be investigating that," said Singleton.

The names of the hospitalized workers have not been released.

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