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Here's what we know about the Gainesville liquid nitrogen leak

At least six people are dead following the tragic leak.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Multiple people were killed and several others injured following the Gainesville liquid nitrogen leak that happened around 10 a.m. on Thursday. 

Some of the people taken to the hospital included firefighters who responded to the scene.

What happened during the Gainesville hazmat situation?

At least six people were killed and several people were hurt following a liquid nitrogen leak.  Authorities were originally called to Foundation Food Group, previously known as Prime Pak Foods located on 2076 Memorial Park Dr., Gainesville, Ga., for a "report of burns." The facility makes poultry products. 

(In earlier communications, authorities referred to the facility as Prime Pak Foods as opposed to its updated name.)

Who died from the liquid nitrogen leak in Gainesville?

Friday morning, the Hall County Sheriff's Office released the names of the victims who died. The six victims, five men and one woman, are identified as the following:

  • Jose DeJesus Elias-Cabrera, 45, of Gainesville
  • Corey Alan Murphy, 35, of Clermont
  • Nelly Perez-Rafael, 28, of Gainesville 
  • Saulo Suarez-Bernal, 41, of Dawsonville
  • Victor Vellez , 38, of Gainesville 
  • Edgar Vera-Garcia, 28, of Gainesville

The sheriff's officers said investigators obtained the age information above from Foundation Food Group. The bodies have been taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for autopsy.

What are the patients' conditions?

Sean Couch of Northeast Georgia Health System said that out of the 12 patients sent to the hospital, three are in critical condition, seven have been treated and released, one is in fair condition. One died (five others died at the scene, authorities said).

 All of the injuries are respiratory in nature.

About 130 people were transported to a church for medical evaluation. 

Since the county's COVID number fell below 300 hospitalized this week, it helped free "some bed space" for the patients, officials with the Northeast Georgia Health System said.

What was the chemical leak in Gainesville at Foundation Food Group?

Authorities said the chemical involved was liquid nitrogen. As of 3:30 p.m., authorities said the preliminary investigation shows a nitrogen line ruptured.

What are the dangers of liquid nitrogen?

According to the FDA, liquid nitrogen is non-toxic. Liquid nitrogen is not poisonous but can expand up to 695 times in volume when it vaporizes and has no warning properties such as odor or color. If this happens, it can displace oxygen and cause unconsciousness or even death.

Is the scene safe?

Fire services have deemed the scene safe around 1:40 p.m. on Thursday and now they are moving to a support role with local authorities. 

Who is investigating the liquid nitrogen leak ?

OSHA is on scene investigating. Hall County is handling the death investigation. 


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