The dead, all of whom were employees of the Food Group Foundation in Gainesville, were identified as Jose Digisos Elias Cabrera, 45; Corey Alan Murphy, 35 years old; Nelly Perez Raphael, 28; Saulo Suarez-Bernal, 41; Victor Velez, 38; Edgar Vera Garcia, 28, announced the mayor’s office in Hole County.
Four of the victims lived in Gainesville, while Murphy and Suarez Bernal were from the neighboring cities of Claremont and Dawsonville, respectively. Perez Raphael was the only woman among the victims.
Sharif said that there was no direct cause of the death of the six, pending the autopsy carried out by the Georgian Bureau of Investigation.
The cause of the fatal workplace accident on Thursday, about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta, is being investigated by the sheriff’s office, the fire department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, officials said.
The authorities said that five of the victims were declared dead at the scene. The sixth victim, one of 12 people rushed to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, died in hospital.
A hospital spokeswoman said four people were still there as of Friday noon. The official said three of them were in critical condition and one was listed as fair.
While Food Group Vice President Nicholas Anchrom refused to discuss the cause of the accident in detail on Thursday, he said, “Initial indications are that a nitrogen line has ruptured inside the facility.”
Poultry plants use refrigeration Systems often contain liquid nitrogen, which is vaporized into an odorless gas that is able to displace oxygen upon leakage.
Newly elected US Senator Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, who summoned Latin voters in his dismal victory earlier this month, pledged to “help workers, their families, and the Gainesville community heal.”
My prayers and sympathy go to the families of those who lost their loved ones and the people who were affected today in this terrible accident, He said in a statement Thursday evening.
Susan Gamboa Contributed.