Skip to main content

Dozens of workers sickened at Willmar turkey plant; investigation underway

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A turkey processing plant in Willmar was evacuated Friday evening after dozens of workers there became ill.

Willmar police tell KSTP the incident at the Jennie-O Turkey Store plant started with just a few employees coughing and vomiting. But before long about 30 people were sick and the plant was evacuated at about 7:30.

WCCO says Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar called in extra staff to help treat the workers. While a chemical leak was suspected, the fire department and a chemical exposure team did not immediately find one, the station says.

This embed is invalid

The West Central Tribune reports several employees were being treated on a bus outside the plant while they waited to be transported to the hospital.

The website mnpoliceclips.com, which posted audio of police and fire dispatchers, says it was Jennie-O's plant #4 that was evacuated.

The company that would grow into Jennie-O Foods opened its first turkey processing plant in Willmar in 1949. Since then Jennie-O merged with The Turkey Store Co. and is now part of Hormel Foods Corporation, its website says.

From Willmar, Jennie-O has expanded to include seven processing plants.

Earlier this week an executive with Jennie-O Turkey Store was part of a panel discussion on workplace wellness programs, the West Central Tribune reported. Employee benefits manager Lori Tjaden said there that the company has 7,000 employees spread across its seven plants, farms, and other locations.

Next Up

FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

Shooting in Highland Park area of St. Paul injures 3

No arrests have been announced in connection to the shooting.

Hennepin Avenue S.

Frey vetoes proposal for bus-only lanes on Hennepin Avenue

The City Council approved the proposal on a 8-5 majority.

police lights

Authorities refute owner's claim that deputy killed dog 'for no reason'

The dog bit the deputy while he was arresting two assault suspects early Friday morning.

Vince McMahon

Minneapolis fans criticized for cheering Vince McMahon at Smackdown

McMahon stepped down as CEO on Friday amid a misconduct probe.

3210 33rd Ave NE, St Anthony, Minnesota - June 2019

Charges: Superintendent harassed with cardboard penis deliveries

A 30-year-old woman admitted to being upset with the superintendent over a school employee whom she is friends with.

Daniel James Hart

Plymouth police looking for suspect from gas station killing

Authorities say Daniel James Hart is potentially driving a black 2017 BMW 740i with a Minnesota license plate reading as "5BD597."

image

Bodies of construction workers recovered from St. Paul trench collapse

Fire officials said both bodies had been located, the second after about 12 hours of searching.

Allen Henry

Reporter from Columbus, Ohio set to join WCCO-TV

Allen Henry announced the news on Twitter this week.

image

Recovery mission underway after trench collapse in St. Paul

Local roadways, including W. Pinehurst Ave. and Mount Curve Blvd. are closed to vehicle traffic.

Gregory Ulrich

Buffalo Allina Health clinic shooter sentenced to life in prison

Ulrich carried out a mass shooting, killing one and injured four others at the Minnesota clinic.

image

Juneteenth 2022: Celebrations planned all weekend in Twin Cities

There's dozens of places to celebrate Juneteenth this weekend.

13055744_1775924525969119_8990400190373766130_o

Dumpster fire at Brooklyn Center apartments; 2 injured, 1 critical

The fire forced residents in 122 apartment units to evacuate.

Related

jennie-o willmar

Hormel will close Jennie-O Turkey plant in Willmar

Workers will be transferred to the other plant in Willmar.