September 26, 2006


Fire razes Tyson's poultry processing plant in Alabama



A fire has destroyed the Tyson Foods poultry processing plant over the weekend at Heflin, in the US state of Alabama, forcing a halt to production.


Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson says the plant, which processes about one million birds per week, was not operating when the blaze broke out Saturday (Sep 23). No one was injured.


Sixteen different fire departments fought the fire for nearly 11 hours over Saturday night. Only maintenance employees work at the plant on weekends. The plant, which opened in 1986, employs 267 workers.


Insulation may have caught fire during the roof repairs, Dan Hopkins, assistant chief of the Hollis Crossroads Fire Department in Cleburne County, said.


There was no immediate estimate of the damages.


Tyson has been on a US$200 million drive to cut costs after sustaining multi-million dollar losses in the first two quarters of this year due to plunging export sales caused by bird flu.

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