UPDATE: Ammonia leak at Tyson Foods in Lexington sends people to hospital
Lexington Fire and Rescue and Midwest Medical responded to an ammonia leak at the Tyson Foods plant on Tuesday.
Brian Woldt, Dawson County Emergency Management Director, says they received the call around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday morning about an ammonia leak.
Tyson Foods said in a statement that 20 workers at the plant were transported to the local hospital. Officials say at least one worker was admitted to the Lexington Regional Health Center and one was later transferred to a Lincoln hospital. The rest of the injured workers were treated and released.
The statement from Tyson Foods said the plant has been deemed safe. The company plans to resume normal operations on Wednesday.
Emergency Room staff at Lexington Regional Health Center told NTV News they treated the 20 patients within a three hour time frame on Tuesday, even activating the hospital's disaster call list to bring in extra staff to help with the influx of patients.
"First and foremost the most important thing to do is to get them out of the environment where the ammonia leak is, get them into fresh air and get their clothing off because that carries the chemical." said Lexington Regional Health Center's Director of Emergency Services Jennifer Vigil.
Hospital officials add that this was the first time they've had to activate the disaster call list for something not weather related like a tornado or blizzard.
Dawson County Emergency Management Director Brian Woldt adds the leak was contained but workers were not being allowed back in until it was safe.
According to Tyson Foods, they use ammonia for refrigeration.