Ammonia Leak At Alabama Egg Plant Prompts Firefighters To Evacuate 150 Workers

ABBEVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- An ammonia leak at a Henry County egg plant Tuesday resulted in the evacuation of about 150 workers, but posed no threat to nearby residents, authorities said.

The leak was reported about 7:40 a.m. at the Cutler Egg Products building in Abbeville, said Fire Chief Ryan Feggins.

There were no injuries reported and employees returned to work about 2 hours later, said plant controller Gary Schneider.

He said the adjacent West Point Stevens factory was notified about the leak, but didn't need to be evacuated. Similarly, the nearest residents lived upwind about a quarter-mile away and were out of harm's way, Feggins said.

He said a busted pipe at the plant's chiller caused the leak. The company said it would further investigate the leak to prevent other incidents.

"If it were much bigger, we would have had to call in more emergency personnel and evacuate other people,'' Feggins said.

Ammonia fumes are a severe eye and nose irritant and very hazardous to the respiratory system, he said.

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