At least six people were killed and twelve hospitalized on Thursday after suspicion of liquid nitrogen in a poultry factory in Georgia, USA. This was announced by police and fire officers. Five people died at the Foundation Food Group’s facility in Gainesville, about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta, and one died after being hospitalized.

Nicholas Ancrum, a spokesman for the Foundation Food Group, said a nitrogen pipe burst and the cause is being investigated. “All of these people who came to work today weren’t expecting anything like this, so please keep them in your prayers,” said County Sheriff Gerald Couch.

All bodies have been removed from the plant and authorities are working to identify them and notify families, Couch said. Of the 12 injured, three were in critical condition, five were in good condition and the remaining three had been discharged from the hospital, officials said.

Nitrogen, typically an inert gas that turns into a liquid when supercooled, is widely used in frozen food processing plants. However, liquid nitrogen gas released in a confined space can quickly displace oxygen in the air and lungs, causing loss of consciousness and fatal asphyxiation, according to the University of Delaware. Last month, two workers at a Golden West Food Group plant in Los Angeles County lost consciousness and died after an apparent leak of liquid nitrogen, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Four firefighters suffering from respiratory diseases were injured in the alleged leak on Thursday, while around 130 other people were evacuated to a nearby church. The Foundation Food Group’s plant processes raw chicken into products such as frozen chicken tenders and individual chicken cuts for restaurants and food service companies. It was known as Prime Pak Foods until the beginning of the year when its name was changed as part of a merger between the two companies.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said on Twitter that he and his family were broken over the news and asked all Georgians to pray for the victims’ families. “May God be a hand of peace, comfort and healing in the days to come,” he wrote.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)