Ben Anderson/The Times

Employees at Pilgrim's Pride in Gainesville, Ga., stand outside the company after an ammonia leak at the plant on June 16. Several people were taken to the hospital.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Five people were taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Ga., on June 16, after an ammonia leak at a poultry plant, according to authorities.

Gainesville and Hall County fire personnel responded around 9:40 a.m. to Pilgrim’s Pride on Industrial Boulevard for a hazardous chemical leak.

The plant was evacuated roughly two minutes after authorities arrived on scene.

Hall County Fire Rescue said the leak was contained by maintenance personnel, and the business has been ventilated.

“Personnel from both agencies worked to assess employees with shortness of breath, breathing difficulty, nausea, and vomiting complaints,” Gainesville Fire spokesman Keith Smith said in a news release.

Smith said roughly 650-700 people were working inside the plant at the time of the leak.

Hall County medical personnel transported five patients to Northeast Georgia Medical Center and treated three people at the plant.

“Without (the) plant staff’s quick response and mitigation of the leak, there would have been many more employees exposed to the leak,” Smith said.

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