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More than 2 dozen employees hospitalized after exposure to chemical at KCK food processing plant

Chemical leak in KCK
Posted at 4:59 PM, Apr 11, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — More than two dozen employees were transported to a hospital Tuesday afternoon after being exposed to a chemical at a Kansas City, Kansas, food processing facility.

Around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, emergency crews were dispatched to Premier Custom Foods at 756 Pawnee Avenue in KCK’s Armourdale avenue.

The facility distributes chicken, pork and beef.

According to first responders, roughly 26 employees were exposed to carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide used to preserve meat products.

“Some of the employees were having difficulty breathing, and some were falling unconscious," said Andrew Nova, fire operations HAZMAT assistant chief for the Kansas City, Kansas City, Fire Department.

Containers used to store the gasses reportedly leaked and caused the exposure.

In a statement to KSHB 41, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed it responded to the scene and opened an inspection of the facility.

OSHA has six months to complete an investigation, issue citations and propose monetary penalties if violations of workplace safety or healthy procedures are found.

Nova said the United States Department of Agriculture will now evaluate the building to see if it can reopen and see if any of the food needs to be discarded.

None of the employees’ injuries were serious.