15 workers were transported to an area hospital after an ammonia leak occurred Thursday morning at the Taylor Farms food processing plant in North Kingstown, RI, several local and national news organizations reported.
Emergency personnel, including a HAZMAT team, responded to the site at about 9:30 a.m., North Kingstown Fire Chief Scott Ketelle told ABC News affiliate WLNE. About 600 workers evacuated the facility during the response.
The leak started after a forklift contacted an ammonia line, according to coverage by WPRI. “Approximately 14 employees expressed interest in seeking medical attention for incident anxiety related matters and were transported to the hospital,” Taylor Farms said in a statement to the television news station.
Crews cleared the scene by 1:15 p.m., but the facility remained closed the rest of Thursday, The North Kingstown Standard-Times said in an article. The town manager told the newspaper that the company hopes to reopen the facility on Friday.
Taylor Farms produces stir fry kits, snack and veggie trays, packaged salads and salad kits, and packaged chopped vegetables. Founded in 1995, the company currently has about 10,000 employees.