Mill Explosion Kills 1, Injures 5 Others

POLK COUNTY, GA – A 25-year old mill worker was killed and five were injured in a blast that shook JCG Farms and nearby properties off Ga. 101.

Of the five injured, four were taken to hospitals in Rome and Marietta. Another person was flown to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta in critical condition.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was called in to investigate because they have expertise in large commercial structures.

Local and state fire investigators are assisting them, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was notified.

Rockmart Fire and Emergency Services Chief, Todd Queen, said firefighters uncovered a gas leak at the site of the explosion, but investigators do not know whether it caused the blast or resulted from it. All utilities at the site were shut off.

The explosion caused the partial collapse of a low-rise building next to the plant’s 100-foot tall storage and processing facility, which is about 50 miles northwest of Atlanta, Queen said. Ga. 101 remained closed late Sunday as engineers assessed the structural damage.

Eight people were working at the mill, which processes chicken feed for farms in the region.