An ammonia leak at a Tyson Foods Chick-N-Quick plant in Rogers, Arkansas, prompted the evacuation of 250 employees, with 25 patients being sent to local hospitals. Some of those patients were transported by the local emergency medical service after the December 10 ammonia leak. All of those who were hospitalized have since been released.
A company spokesperson told Ozarks First that contractors were performing maintenance on the roof of the facility. A small amount of ammonia smell had apparently been pulled into the plant through the air conditioner.
Initial readings inside the plant indicated that ammonia was not detected in the environment, according to a company statement. A maintenance worker was able to contain the ammonia leak after it was found in the storage area, Rogers Fire Chief Tom Jenkins said.
One of the patients was found unconscious, while others had been complaining of discomfort and difficulties with breathing and swallowing.
Worth Sparkman, a spokesman for Tyson Foods, thanked the Rogers Fire Department for the way it handled the situation, and said that the company’s emergency protocols helped prevent the situation from being more severe.
“The health and safety of our employees is very important to us, that’s why we have extensive safety and health training, programs and policies in place at all of our facilities. Our emergency plans worked as designed,” Sparkman stated.