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Slim Jim Plant Explodes

Slim Jim Plant Explodes

Alysia Patterson | Associated Press

GARNER, N.C. – Three people were missing and 20 taken to hospitals after an explosion at a Slim Jim meat products plant in North Carolina, officials said Tuesday.

Jeffrey Hammerstein, district chief with Wake County Emergency Medical Services, said five injured people were tagged as priority patients with serious conditions.

Hammerstein said officials were searching for three people missing from the site in Garner, a Raleigh suburb, but it wasn’t clear whether they were inside during the explosion.

Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams said injuries ranged from burns to smoke inhalation. Emergency crews were keeping people away because of concerns about the smell of ammonia.

“There is a toxic cloud on and about the plant,” Williams said.

Officials said at a news conference that firefighters were still trying to contain a small fire and an ammonia leak.

The site produces Slim Jim products. Williams said several people reported hearing an explosion before the building partially collapsed.

“We’re still working evacuating anybody else that was still in the building and treating people that were injured,” said Lt. Chris Hagwood, a spokesman for the Garner Police Department.