SMITHFIELD, Va. (WAVY) — An ammonia pipe burst inside at a pet food plant in Smithfield on Thursday, prompting an evacuation and sending two employees to the hospital.
Maj. Matt Rogers with the Smithfield Police Department said the pipe burst inside Premium Pet Health. This caused the building to be evacuated.
A hazardous materials (hazmat) crew from Portsmouth responded to the scene to assist Smithfield crews.
The spill was contained inside the plant and did not get into the water or outside environment, Reeves said. Crews have since cleared the scene after cleaning up the spill.
Two employees were injured when they were hit with ammonia after the pipe burst, Reeves said. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening, and they were treated and released from the hospital.
It’s unclear what may have caused the pipe to burst, but Smithfield officials said it was accidental.
Smithfield Foods released this statement Thursday in response:
“Earlier today, Smithfield took immediate action and evacuated all employees in response to an accidental ammonia leak that occurred at its pet food facility in Smithfield, Virginia. Two employees were taken to the hospital and were treated and released this afternoon. Local emergency responders were onsite and worked with Smithfield to investigate and manage the situation, which was resolved mid-afternoon. As always, the health, safety, and wellbeing of our employees is a top priority, and we appreciate the support of local authorities in responding to this situation.”