6 people killed after liquid nitrogen leak at Georgia food processing plant

Six people were killed and 10 were taken to a hospital after a liquid nitrogen leak at a food processing plant in Gainesville, Georgia, officials said. By Gisela Crespo, CNN

(CNN) -- Six people were killed and 10 were taken to a hospital after a liquid nitrogen leak at a food processing plant in Gainesville, Georgia, officials said.

Fire crews from Hall County and Gainesville responded to a report of burns at Prime Pak Foods around 10:12 a.m. Thursday, said Zachary Brackett from Hall County Fire Services.

Units arrived and found a large group of employees that had evacuated, along with multiple people who were experiencing medical emergencies in and around the facility, Brackett said.

Five people died at the scene, Brackett said. One person died after arriving at Northeast Georgia Health System, a hospital spokesman said.

At least nine patients were taken to the hospital in Gainesville. They include three Gainesville firefighters and one Hall County firefighter who had respiratory complaints.

Three patients are in the critical care unit, one is in the emergency department and the other five are in fair condition, the hospital spokesman said.

Brackett said there was no explosion, and the cause of the leak remains under investigation.

The Hall County Sheriff's Office is managing the investigation, Brackett said.

Officials from the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are at the site, Gov. Brian Kemp said.

He added his condolences, saying: "Our hearts are broken hearing about the tragedy that took place at Prime Pak Foods. Marty, the girls, and I ask all Georgians to join us in praying for the families facing a terrible loss and the other employees who are receiving medical care. May God be a hand of peace, comfort, and healing in the days ahead."

Gainesville is about an 60 miles northeast of Atlanta.

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