Worker dead, several others injured in ammonia spill at Iredell County, N.C. plant

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Updated: Jan. 10, 2020 at 9:38 PM EST
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STATESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - As the sun set, the severity of what happened after an ammonia spill at the Lineage Logistics plant in Statesville Friday afternoon became apparent. Two employees were exposed along with several first responders.

One of the workers, identified Monday as Anthony Edward Lamattina of Georgia, did not survive.

Emergency management officials say the second worker, Carson Brandon Drawdy, was transferred to a Winston Salem hospital after being taken from an Iredell facility. His current condition has not been released.

Two rescue workers who were also exposed during the spill should be OK and will be released from the hospital Saturday morning.

Lineage Logistics does flash freezing of chickens and ammonia is used in that process. At this time, it’s unclear what caused the spill or how much was released, but officials say it will take several days to clean up.

Hazmat crews, OSHA and the EPA were all on scene Friday evening evaluating the situation.

People who live in the area report a very strong smell of ammonia coming from the plant, but officials say it’s well below limits and should be of little concern to surrounding neighbors.

“That would be my message to the public. Would be that there is a high level of concern, but not worry. It’s just a desire to make sure everyone is safe,” said Karyn Yaussy from the Catawba County Emergency Management.

Firefighters are expected to be on scene all Friday night making sure the situation is contained.

Lineage Logistics provided a statement Friday night.

“Earlier today, there was an ammonia release at our facility in Statesville, NC that resulted in the death of a Lineage Logistics sub-contractor. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this individual. We are working in close coordination with local authorities and regulatory officials to conduct a full investigation. Lineage’s top priority is the health and safety of our employees, partners, and the communities in which we live and operate. We take compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations extremely seriously and will be working with all relevant agencies during our investigation. To ensure consistent and centralized communications during this process, we will work closely with local authorities and regulatory officials to provide further updates.”

On Saturday, cleanup continued.

“Private contractors are on scene to assist us with cleanup,” Iredell Emergency Management said. “Firefighters from all over Iredell County are pulling extra shifts to cover for Monticello Fire Department.”

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