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Ammonia leak at Wisconsin plant sends workers to hospitals

VILLAGE OF DARIEN, Wis. (AP) — Authorities say 15 people were taken to hospitals following an ammonia leak at a Birds Eye food plant in southeastern Wisconsin.

Various agencies responded early Sunday to an emergency at the plant in the village of Darien.

Authorities say 140 people were working overnight at the factory when alarms and sensors started going off. Ammonia is used at the plant to freeze and cool food.

A hazardous-materials team official says 15 people were taken to five nearby hospitals. New Jersey-based Pinnacle Foods, which owns Birds Eye, said Sunday night that most have been released, and three people remain under observation.

Seventy-five workers were checked at the scene and released. The Janesville Gazette reports authorities suspect a “mechanical malfunction” led to the leak.

Officials say there is no threat to the community.

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