Ammonia leak, fire shut down beef processing plant in eastern Nebraska;

6 February 2014

SCHUYLER, Nebraska — An ammonia leak and fire have shut down a beef processing plant in eastern Nebraska, but no employees were injured.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports workers at the Cargill plant in Schuyler detected the ammonia leak around 3:40 a.m. Thursday. Smoke and flames were reported several minutes later above an area where beef carcasses are trimmed to smaller cuts.

Company spokesman Mike Martin says local authorities responded and the fire was quickly extinguished. He says damage was limited and very little product was lost.

Many of the plant's more than 2,100 employees weren't there at the time because the leak occurred between production shifts. The cause of the incident remains under investigation.

Production at the plant was canceled for Thursday. It has not reopened still by Tuesday 11 February.