TAR HEEL — More than 2,400 workers were evacuated from a massive North Carolina hog slaughtering plant after an ammonia leak caused some people to get sick or pass out.
Smithfield Packing workers said they heard an explosion in the hog slaughtering plant Tuesday morning.
Bladen County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Randy Hester said one of the plant's industrial water tanks that provide hot water to the killing and cutting floors collapsed. Hester said as it collapsed, water shoved a car-sized generator into an ammonia tank, forcing that tank's pipes loose.
While the collapse occurred outside the plant, Hester said the smell drifted inside.
N.C. 87 was closed because of the leak.
Emergency personnel said as many as 40 workers were treated for a variety of health issues.