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A Wayne Farms processing plant in Dothan, Alabama, evacuated its 500 workers after a chemical spill.

A commercial supplier delivering and handling industrial chemicals June 26 accidentally caused a chemical reaction to occur in a building adjacent to the main plant, company officials said.

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Sixteen employees were in the area when the leak occurred, said Dothan Deputy Fire Department Chief Chris Etheredge. One employee who was taken to a local hospital had inhaled the acid product, and the other transported worker’s skin had been exposed to the product. The remaining 14 employees were monitored on the scene, and appeared to be in good health.

One was a chemical company worker and the other was a Wayne Farms employee, said company spokesman Frank Singleton.

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“There were no other injuries. After technicians cleaned the spill area of any chemical residue, the plant was reopened for the second shift and normal operations,” Singleton said.

“The safety personnel at Wayne Farms did a great job in following safety procedures. The acid leak is contained and the equipment installed to contain the acid did exactly what it is designed to do. It contained the leak,” Etheredge said.

As of Thursday, the facility was fully operational.

Wayne Farms has experienced significant expansion recently at its Dothan and Coffee County facilities. Recent expansion in Coffee County increased processing production there from 268,000 chickens to 399,000 per day.

A 47,000 square-foot refrigerated warehouse at the Dothan facility led to a $23.5 million investment there and a new feed mill in Newton in 2017 resulted in 36 new jobs and a $55 million investment.

The Dothan Fire Department is investigating the matter.

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