Six people are dead after a liquid nitrogen leak at a Georgia poultry plant and 11 others were hospitalized, with at least three in critical condition. Two of the people killed were Mexican citizens, and those injured included at least four firefighters.
â€śWhen leaked into the air, liquid nitrogen vaporizes into an odorless gas thatâ€™s capable of displacing oxygen,â€ť the Associated Press explains. â€śThat means leaks in enclosed spaces can become deadly by pushing away breathable air, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.â€ť
The Foundation Food Group plant, previously known as Prime Pak Foods, was cited for worker amputations in 2017.
â€ťOur hearts go out to the loved ones of the six workers who tragically died and those who were critically injured in a preventable accident at the Foundation Food Group plant in Gainesville, Georgia,â€ť AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a response. â€śThis did not have to happen. Safety concerns have long been raised as a major issue in many poultry plants, and Thursdayâ€™s incident shows what can happen when those calls go unheard.â€ť
This blog originally appeared at Daily Kos on January 30, 2020. Reprinted with permission.
About the Author: Laura Clawson has been a contributing editor since December 2006. Clawson has been full-time staff since 2011, and is currently assistant managing editor at the Daily Kos.