A Koch Foods poultry plant in Gainesville, Georgia, was evacuated during the afternoon of December 19 because of an ammonia leak at the plant.
Three people were directly exposed to the ammonia, but nobody was injured. The three workers that were exposed were treated at the scene and did not require hospitalization.
The plant had been undergoing renovations, according to Gainesville Fire Department Division Chief Kevin Smith, and a worker had apparently accidentally cut an ammonia line at the plant. The accident occurred around 1:30 p.m.
"Our personnel along with the hazmat team - that we work together with Hall County - entered the building and did find initially high readings of ammonia in the building," said Smith.
According to Smith, it took about an hour before the air in the plant was clear enough for people to return to work. Plant operations resumed at that point.
The December 19 leak marked the second time in just a little more than six months that Koch Foods had to deal with an ammonia leak in Gainesville. On June 9, the company experienced another leak, when the plant was evacuated and 14 workers had reported exposure to the ammonia. Four were treated at an area hospital.