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Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - 1:18pm

Ammonia Leak Sends 25 To Hospital

An ammonia leak at a west Georgia poultry plant Wednesday morning sent 25 employees to the hospital. They were treated for breathing problems.

Officials with Tip Top Poultry company say the leak was caused by a faulty seal in a valve. It was contained on site and posed no threat to the surrounding community of Rockmart.

Tip Top spokesman Brad Respess says safety is a top priority at the plant his family has owned since 1954.

“We actually followed all of the proper procedures and protocols that were required and that we felt were good for our employees," Respess says. "But something happened, so we’re going to spend the next couple of weeks figuring out what did happen. In my 10 years at Tip Top, it’s the first ammonia incident we’ve had in this plant, and hopefully it’ll be the last one.”

Respess says 23 of the affected employees have already been discharged from the hospital. One is expected to be released by tomorrow, and one employee has been transferred to the burn center to treat a minor burn.

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