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HAZMAT Team Called to Ammonia Leak at Tyson Plant

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The plant was cited by OSHA in 2007 for failing to provide a distinctive alarm for ammonia release.

Several fire departments and a HAZMAT team responded to the Tyson Foods chicken processing plant in Noel, MO on Wednesday morning after an ammonia leak was reported in the facility, local news organizations reported.

Crews were called to the Tyson Drive facility at about 6 a.m. and remained on scene until about 8 a.m., according to coverage by WWLP. Reports did not have any information available on possible injuries.

“The leak is isolated and contained, we are working to ventilate the building now,” fire officials told the news broadcaster at about 7 a.m.

Tyson’s plant in Noel slaughters, partitions, marinates, and grinds whole chicken and chicken parts and packages the products in trays, poly bags and plastic lined cardboard cartons, according to a document on the company’s website.

In 2007, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Tyson’s plant in Noel with 46 serious violations, one willful violation, eight repeat violations, and four other-than-serious violations of health and safety standards. One of the repeat violations was for failing to provide a distinctive alarm for an ammonia release. The company faced proposed fines of $339,500.

Two people were injured in an ammonia leak at a Tyson plant in Hutchinson, KS in November 2020 as they were working on a refrigeration system, Powder & Bulk Solids reported. 18 people were hospitalized following an ammonia leak at Tyson’s Clarksville, AR poultry plant in September 2019.

A liquid nitrogen leak at the Prime Pak Foods plant in Gainesville, GA in late January claimed six lives and left others with injuries. The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has opened an investigation into the incident.

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