4 airlifted after explosion at animal rendering plant

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 2:20 PM EDT
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Four people have been airlifted to a hospital following an explosion at an animal rendering plant in North Carolina.

Valley Proteins owner and chairman Michael Smith told The Associated Press by phone that the explosion occurred about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday at its facility in Rose Hill. The town is about 90 minutes south of Raleigh.

Smith said five people were injured total. He said they were employees of an outside contractor. He said he believes they were performing some welding at the time.

Smith said an investigation is underway but “our primary concern is the medical treatment of these workers. We are praying for the five workers' health and a full recovery."

Smith said the workers' conditions were unknown. But he said they were conscious at the time.

The company is based in Winchester, Virginia. The company says on its website that its plants recycle meat and poultry waste from the food industry to create animal feeds.

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