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An ammonia leak at Wayne Farms processing facility on Plugs Drive in Decatur caused the evacuation and closure of the plant Tuesday.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
An ammonia leak at Wayne Farms processing facility on Plugs Drive in Decatur caused the evacuation and closure of the plant Tuesday.

Ammonia leak evacuates Wayne Farms

By Eric Fleischauer
eric@decaturdaily.com 340-2435

An ammonia leak at Wayne Farms caused the evacuation and closure of the plant early Tuesday but caused no injuries, a company official said.

Maintenance workers discovered the leak at about 3:45 a.m., said Wayne Farms spokesman Frank Singleton.

The gaseous ammonia
escaped from a ruptured weld in a refrigeration unit in the further processing plant on Plugs Road.

"Training paid off," Singleton said. "Everybody got out of the plant without incident."

The leaked ammonia was contained within the plant, which remained closed for the rest of the day Tuesday.

Decatur Fire and Rescue hazardous materials crews were called to the scene.

Employees who were at work at the time of the leak will receive full compensation, Singleton said.

The company told second-shift employees to skip work Tuesday. They will not receive any compensation for the missed day, Singleton said.

Singleton said officials expected the plant to resume production Wednesday.

"It looks like it was a very small leak," Singleton said. "Under 10 pounds of ammonia escaped."

The $55 million plant is a block from Wayne Farms' older fresh-processing plant. It opened in 2006.

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