June 18 Smithfield Foods Inc.'s Tar
Heel, North Carolina pork packing plant, the world's largest,
remained closed on Wednesday after a water tank collapsed and
caused an ammonia leak a day earlier, the company said.
"It is a matter of getting power restored, a big part of the
problem is that the water tank that ruptured actually knocked
out our transformers," said Dennis Pittman, a company spokesman.
It is likely the Tar Heel plant, which has a daily slaughter
capacity of about 34,000 hogs, could resume operations by the
second shift on Thursday, he said.
"There is extensive electrical work that has to be done
outside of the plant but that will not effect it running," he
There was some pork damaged after the accident due to loss
of power, Pittman said, but he did not provide details on how
much product was discarded. Part of the plant's refrigeration
remained operational with the use of a generator.
After an evacuation, about 10 workers were transported to
the hospital on Tuesday and as of Tuesday evening two were being
kept under observation, Pittman said.
Smithfield Foods, Inc., the world's largest pork producer
and processor, is a wholly independent subsidiary of China's WH
(Reporting By Meredith Davis; editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)