Five contract workers were injured in an explosion last Wednesday morning at the Valley Proteins processing plant in Rose Hill, NC, local and national news organizations reported. The victims were reportedly using welding equipment when the blast occurred.
The explosion happened at about 10:45 a.m. in a finished product area of the facility, a Valley Proteins official told NBC News affiliate WITN, and that the incident was possibly a dust explosion because the workers were welding in a dusty section of the facility.
Rose Hill Fire Chief Gary Boney said in the news station’s coverage that three of helicopters transported four of the victims to area hospitals, and the fifth injured person was taken to a hospital and later flown to a burn unit.
“A full investigation will take place as to the cause of this accident,” Valley Proteins Vice Chairman Michael Smith said in a Raleigh News & Observer article. “Early reports suggest the physical plant sustained minor damage. We are praying for the five workers’ health and full recovery.”
Valley Proteins produces animal feed ingredients, biofuel ingredients, and provides rendering and recycling services.