Jonesboro Fire Department called back to Butterball due to ammonia leak; part of plant evacuated

Jonesboro Fire Department called back to Butterball due to ammonia leak; part of plant evacuated

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Fire Department is back at the Butterball plant due to an ammonia alarm.

According to E911, part of the plant was evacuated.

Early reports from the scene suggest it's a continuation of this morning's leak.

The factory was already looking into what caused an ammonia leak at their plant early Monday morning.

An official with Butterball said Monday afternoon the source of the original leak was located and contained, but they are still trying to determine the exact cause.

JFD Battalion Chief Brett Winstead says a power outage due to overnight storms may have caused the leak.

Jonesboro Fire Chief Kevin Miller said crews responded to the Butterball factory, 9401 E. Highland Dr., for the leak at around 12:30 a.m.

Fire crews began leaving just after 6 a.m., turning over the scene to factory officials.

Chief Miller says at one point one person was "unofficially unaccounted" for when the building was evacuated. However, the person was found and no injuries were reported.

Butterball released the following statement to Region 8 News:

"At approximately 12:30 a.m. a first ammonia leak occurred inside our Jonesboro, Arkansas plant, causing the facility to be evacuated. As part of our plant's strict emergency and safety protocols, plant supervisors immediately and safely evacuated the entire facility, activated our pre-determined emergency action plan and alerted the Jonesboro Fire Department. The source of the leak was identified and crews have been working to repair the leak.

At approximately 4 p.m. a second ammonia leak was detected, the plant was again evacuated and the Jonesboro Fire Department returned to the facility.

We will continue to work closely with the Jonesboro Fire Department until the situation is resolved. At this time, it is unknown when production within the plant will resume. All product is being managed in accordance with regulatory protocols and moved for evaluation and disposition.

Protecting the health, safety and well-being of our employees, our consumers and the communities in which they live is a top priority. As a result of our regular emergency trainings, our employees reacted quickly and appropriately."

No word yet on if production at the plant is up and running once again.

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