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Liquid Nitrogen Leak Kills Six at Poultry Plant

At least three more hospitalized in critical condition after incident at Foundation Food Group in Gainesville, GA

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A liquid nitrogen leak at a poultry plant northeast of Atlanta killed six workers and sent 11 more to the hospital Thursday. At least three of the people hospitalized are in critical condition, officials said.

NPR reports local, state and federal police and health and safety investigators are looking for what may have caused the leak at the Gainesville, GA, Foundation Food Group plant. They cautioned Thursday it may be some time before they find out what happened.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board will deploy a team of investigators and the board's CEO and chairman, Katherine A. Lemos, to the scene Friday.

Poultry plants use liquid nitrogen for refrigeration systems. The gas can cause extensive tissue damage or burns. Inhaling large amounts of nitrogen can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, loss of consciousness and death.

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