cloudyn.png
Thursday April 15th, 2021 7:01AM

Official: System in deadly nitrogen leak recently installed

By The Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — The investigation into a deadly liquid nitrogen leak at a Georgia poultry plant continued Saturday with authorities saying they were trying to determine what caused a break in the recently installed system.

Six workers died on Thursday after the liquid nitrogen release at Foundation Food Group. About a dozen others were injured and taken to a hospital, and 130 people had to be evacuated. The search for answers came as several hundred people attended a Saturday afternoon vigil outside the plant, several sobbing for loved ones who died.

Separately, Katherine Lemos, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board’s chairman and chief executive, said Saturday that major portions of the plant’s liquid nitrogen’s interior and exterior system were installed and commissioned in the past four to six weeks, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

She said the plant received two to three 18-wheel-truckloads per day of liquid nitrogen, a quantity she described as “a lot.”

Lemos also said that shortly after the leak was discovered, a worker cut off the nitrogen supply.

“The maintenance manager described personally closing the isolation valves of the tanks in the parking lot subsequent to the event, shutting off the supply to the building, which limited the potential damage or consequence,” she said.

Lemos said the agency will not speculate on what caused the rupture. A full report could take several years.

Chemical Safety Board investigators charged with finding the cause of chemical incidents have been at the site since Thursday. The board makes safety recommendations but does not issue citations or fines.

Investigators have begun evaluating equipment at the plant that could have played a role in the leak, but said its location and cause had yet to be determined. The state fire marshal’s office has ruled out a shut-off valve on piping that connects a nitrogen storage tank outside the building to equipment inside, but the agency does not oversee other equipment at the plant, spokesman Weston Burleson said.

Gainesville is the hub of Georgia’s poultry industry, which is the largest in the country. Thousands of employees work across multiple processing plants around the city and much of the workforce is Latino, like those in many meat-processing plants nationwide. Mexico has said two of the dead in the leak were citizens of that nation.

Several hundred people attended Saturday afternoon's vigil outside the plant.

Loved ones wept as they knelt in front of six white floral wreaths with white ribbons, one for each worker killed. People brought flowers and stuffed animals. A series of speakers, including pastors, stood in the bed of a pickup truck and addressed the crowd. Interpreters made sure both English- and Spanish-speaking listeners could understand.

“We are one community,” said Art Gallegos Jr., president of Latinos Conservative Organization, which helped organize the vigil.

Earlier, mourners arranged bouquets of white and orange flowers, two wooden crosses and a handful of prayer candles. The small memorial on the side of a roadway remained one of the few signs of the tragedy.

Lemos offered her sympathies to the families of the victims in a statement that she delivered in both English and Spanish at Saturday’s news conference.

“I can’t imagine the loss you’re feeling today and the reason we are here is to prevent this from happening again,” she said.

Workers at the plant have recounted harrowing experiences of escaping through a fog of vaporizing liquid nitrogen as they fled the leak.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office identified the victims on Friday as: 45-year-old Jose DeJesus Elias-Cabrera of Gainesville; 35-year-old Corey Alan Murphy of Clermont; 28-year-old Nelly Perez-Rafael of Gainesville; 41-year-old Saulo Suarez-Bernal of Dawsonville; 38-year-old Victor Vellez of Gainesville; and 28-year-old Edgar Vera-Garcia of Gainesville.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Agriculture, AP Business - Poultry & Egg
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Creator of 'Bernie' mittens partners with teddy bear maker
The teacher who created the recycled wool mittens that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders wore to the presidential inauguration — engendering countless memes — is partnering with the Vermont Teddy Bear Company to create a mitten line to meet growing demand
6:49PM ( 7 minutes ago )
No. 3 Villanova rolls to 9th straight, handles Seton Hall
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored 23 points in 21 minutes and No. 3 Villanova rolled to ninth straight victory with an unexpectedly easy 80-72 decision over Seton Hall
5:59PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Franks-to-Yeboah TD seals National's 27-24 Senior Bowl win
Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Mississippi tight end Kenny Yeboah in the fourth quarter of the Senior Bowl  to help seal the National team’s 27- 24 victory over the American team
5:59PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Playing favorites? Hospital boards, donors get COVID shots
Some hospitals around the U.S. are facing complaints about favoritism and line-jumping after their board members and donors received COVID-19 vaccinations or offers for the prized inoculations
5:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Cuba toughening virus restrictions for visitors
Cuban authorities say they will tighten measures against the spread of COVID-19 to require tourists and other visitors to isolate at their own expense for several days until tests for the new coronavirus come out negative
4:50PM ( 2 hours ago )
Things to Know: Fewer Black Americans are getting vaccinated
An Associated Press analysis shows that Black people in many parts of the U.S. are lagging behind whites in receiving COVID-19 vaccinations
3:44PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
As California virus cases fall, more people than ever dying
California has reported 40,000 coronavirus deaths as the state's steepest surge of cases begins to taper
12:11PM ( 6 hours ago )
Lawmakers push mental health days for kids amid pandemic
As the coronavirus pandemic takes a mental toll on young people, more states are considering expanding opportunities for students to take mental health days to try to lessen stigma and reduce youth suicide
11:38AM ( 7 hours ago )
Crews battle flames, cold, wind in huge recycling plant fire
Firefighters are battling a massive fire at a northern New Jersey recycling plant that started overnight and is expected to burn for days
11:34AM ( 7 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
The Latest: Boston's Fenway Park to offer vaccinations
Starting Monday, 500 vaccinations per day will be administered at Fenway Park
3:32PM ( 3 hours ago )
Owner of Mets and hedge fund leaves Twitter, citing threats
The owner of the New York Mets is dropping off Twitter after his family got threats apparently related to his hedge fund's activity
3:18PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: South Carolina reports case of UK virus variant
South Carolina is reporting its first known case of the Britain-based variant of the coronavirus
2:32PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business
EU tightens vaccine export rules, creates post-Brexit outcry
The European Union has introduced tighter rules on exports of coronavirus vaccines that could hit shipments to nations like the United Kingdom amid a deepening dispute with drugmaker AstraZeneca over supplies of potentially lifesaving shots
7:04PM ( 23 hours ago )
The Latest: Florida sets vaccine site for remote Black area
The predominantly Black farming communities on the shore of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee will get a coronavirus vaccine station
6:32PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Washington state pushes for in-person classes
The schools chief in Washington state is pushing for teachers to get vaccinated for the coronavirus when it’s their turn
5:13PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Hawks' Hunter to miss game against Lakers with knee injury
De’Andre Hunter, who has emerged as Atlanta’s second-leading scorer in his second season, will miss at least one game with a knee injury
4:30PM ( 2 hours ago )
Police tighten Congress security in era of rising threats
The House’s chief law enforcement officer says he's tightening security for traveling lawmakers
2:10AM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
Venezuela hired Democratic Party donor for $6 million
Newly filed lobbying records show that Venezuela’s socialist government previously hired a longtime Democratic Party donor for $6 million at the same it was lobbying to discourage the U.S. from imposing sanctions on the oil-rich nation
12:00AM ( 18 hours ago )
WHO team visits Wuhan hospital that had early virus patients
A World Health Organization team is visiting a hospital where China says the first COVID-19 patients were treated more than a year ago
8:19PM ( 22 hours ago )
GameStop soars again; Wall Street bends under the pressure
Stocks sank again as a speculative frenzy over GameStop and a handful of other stocks ramps up worries over how much damage an online revolt against Wall Street bigwigs can do to the broader market
5:33PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Industries
Ruling brings kosher slaughterhouse new business, old fears
A kosher slaughterhouse in southern Hungary has increased its exports to Belgium since the European Union’s highest court upheld a Flanders region law that prohibited slaughtering animals without first stunning them into unconsciousness
2:58AM ( 2 days ago )
Turkmen ruler establishes holiday to honor local dog breed
Turkmenistan's autocratic leader has established a national holiday to honor the local dog breed
1:00PM ( 4 days ago )
PepsiCo goes Beyond Meat in new partnership
PepsiCo is joining forces with Beyond Meat to develop new snacks and drinks made from plant-based proteins
12:14PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Business - Agriculture
Small-town Alabama resident transformed to protest leader
A Black woman who says she gained new racial awareness after leaving her majority-white hometown in Alabama is now leading protests against a Confederate monument in the city
10:52AM ( 3 weeks ago )
AP Business - Poultry & Egg
Creator of 'Bernie' mittens partners with teddy bear maker
The teacher who created the recycled wool mittens that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders wore to the presidential inauguration — engendering countless memes — is partnering with the Vermont Teddy Bear Company to create a mitten line to meet growing demand
6:49PM ( 7 minutes ago )
No. 3 Villanova rolls to 9th straight, handles Seton Hall
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored 23 points in 21 minutes and No. 3 Villanova rolled to ninth straight victory with an unexpectedly easy 80-72 decision over Seton Hall
5:59PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Franks-to-Yeboah TD seals National's 27-24 Senior Bowl win
Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Mississippi tight end Kenny Yeboah in the fourth quarter of the Senior Bowl  to help seal the National team’s 27- 24 victory over the American team
5:59PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Palmeiras beats Santos to win Copa Libertadores final
Substitute Breno Lopes scored deep into stoppage time as Palmeiras won its second Copa Libertadores title with a 1-0 victory against Santos in an all-Brazilian final
5:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
Famous private eye Jack Palladino gravely injured in robbery
Jack Palladino, the private investigator who worked on high-profile cases ranging from the Jonestown mass suicides to celebrity and political scandals, is on life support after suffering a head injury during an attempted robbery
5:40PM ( 1 hour ago )