On Tuesday June 17, 2014, there was a large ammonia spill at the Smithfield plant in Tar Heel, Bladen County. The leak forced more than 2,000 workers to leave the slaughterhouse and some have reported injuries. Ammonia is a dangerous and poisonous substance that can come in gas or liquid form. It is a danger at processing plants and can also come off the lagoons and hog farms in affected neighborhoods. Symptoms of ammonia poisoning can include coughing, chest pain and difficulty breathing, red and burning eyes, throat and mouth pain, stomach pain and vomiting among other symptoms. The Smithfield Packing plant in Tar Heel has been described as the largest pork processing plant in the world. According to news reports, in the recent incident a tank burst spilling thousands of gallons. Injured workers were taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville. According to reports, the plant had a prior ammonia leak in 2012. Several workers were hospitalized and government regulators fined the company. Wallace & Graham is representing nearby neighbors of industrialized swine confinement facilities in North Carolina for claims of nuisance and injury.
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