Newly-released 911 calls capture the horror of a deadly liquid nitrogen leak at a Georgia poultry plant — as a manager described workers “frozen” and “foaming at the mouth.”
Zach Hoover, who is the director of Prime Pak Foods in Gainesville, could be heard asking dispatchers Thursday for an ambulance to respond to the leak that killed six, news station 11Alive reported.
“I got a phone call from one of my employees saying that I’ve got a person who potentially could be frozen from liquid nitrogen,” Hoover told the dispatcher.
He explained that liquid nitrogen was used in the plant to preserve chicken.
In a second call, Hoover told dispatchers that he needed help at the back of the plant.
“I’ve got multiple people affected by liquid nitrogen,” he said.
Hoover could then be heard asking the dispatcher, “What can I do with someone who’s been affected?”
“I’ve got one on his side,” he added.
When asked if the man was breathing, Hoover responded that he was “but struggling, though.”
“He’s foaming at the mouth. Eyes are open, struggling,” he said.
Hoover then described finding workers he feared were dead.
“I’ve got two that are cold, it feels like they’re gone,” he told dispatchers.
“I’ve got one that’s got a body temperature that’s quite cold. It seems like they’re freezing.”
The operator at one point instructs Hoover how to perform CPR on a man, who he describes as “frozen by liquid nitrogen” and “barely breathing.”
The Hall County Sheriff’s Office identified the victims on Friday as Jose DeJesus Elias-Cabrera, 45; Corey Alan Murphy, 35; Nelly Perez-Rafael, 28; Saulo Suarez-Bernal, 41; Victor Vellez, 38; and Edgar Vera-Garcia, 28.
Beth Downs, a spokesperson for Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, said four people remained hospitalized, including three in critical condition.
Investigators have begun investigating the leak, but its location and cause is still unknown.
With Post wires