Schuyler, Neb. Cargill beef processing plant is closed due to am - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Schuyler, Neb. Cargill beef processing plant is closed due to ammonia leak and fire


SCHUYLER, Neb. (KTIV/) - An ammonia leak and a small fire caused the Cargill Meat Solutions plant in Schuyler, Nebraska to close early Thursday.

Mike Martin in Cargill's Wichita, Kansas office said that the ammonia leak was discovered just before 3:50 Thursday morning during the plant's third shift, and within 15 minutes a small fire broke out at the plant's fabrication floor.

"The third shift at the plant is typically 200-300 people working there, basically sanitizing the plant and doing equipment maintenance," Mike Martin, Cargill spokesman said.

Martin said that the Schuyler plant employees roughly 2,100 people.

Schuyler, Howells, Clarkson and the Columbus Rural Fire Departments helped fight the fire.

Crews were able to keep the damage isolated to insulation and a natural gas fuel refrigeration and dehumidifier unit on the roof of the plant.

No injuries were reported as a result of the incident.

The plant closed production on Thursday and Martin said that Cargill is working with the U.S.D.A. to determine when they'll reopen.

"?That's still up in the air, we don't know whether that will be tomorrow [Friday] morning or possibly Saturday, f we work Saturday to make up for loss production or if it will be Monday. The damage itself if reality minor, so it's really a matter of doing some mop up at the plant and determining when we can resume operations," Martin said.

The Schuyler Cargill plant processes more than 5,000 head of cattle daily.

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