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Several employees taken to hospital following reported ammonia leak at Birds Eye in Darien

Posted at 4:21 PM, Jul 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-29 18:21:00-04

Walworth County authorities say 15 people have been taken to a local hospital after they were exposed to an ammonia leak in the Bird’s Eye Food plant in Darien this morning. At this time there is no information on the type of injuries suffered or the conditions of the employees.

Walworth County Sheriff Kurt Picknell said the leak was reported around 5:15 AM Sunday. He said there were 140 employees in the plant at the time of the leak. Besides the 15 injured employees, Sheriff Picknell said 75 employees were evaluated at the scene and determined to be okay.

According to Sheriff Picknell, the ammonia leak occurred in one area of the building. The cause of the leak has not been determined, said Sheriff Picknell. Ammonia, he said, is used for refrigeration in the plant.

About 100 emergency personnel from multiple agencies responded to the early morning hazmat call. Sheriff Picknell said crews are going through the building now to determine when it will be safe to return. He said there was no fire and the leak posed no threat to the community.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been notified of the incident.