Smithfield Packing Evacuated After Ammonia Leak

Workers have been evacuated from a massive North Carolina hog slaughtering plant after an ammonia leak that caused some people to get sick or pass out.

The Fayetteville Observer reports Smithfield Packing workers said they heard an explosion in the massive hog slaughtering plant Tuesday morning. The newspaper quotes a Bladen County sheriff's deputy as saying an ammonia pipe ruptured but has been capped.

The sheriff's office had no additional information.

N.C. 87 was also closed because of the leak.

Company spokesman Dennis Pittman says several employees were transported to a hospital for observation and others treated on site for exposure to ammonia gas used in the plant's refrigeration system.

About 5,300 people work at the plant, where an ammonia leak in 2012 sent eight people to the hospital.

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