September 3, 2015 | Barb Carr

Remembering an Accident: Hamlet Chicken Processing Plant Fire

On September 3, 1991, The Hamlet Chicken Processing Plant Fire occurred in Hamlet, North Caroline.  The industrial fire killed 25 workers and 55 people were injured. The deaths and injuries were due to the fact that the fire doors were locked, trapping the people inside. The processing plant caught fire because of a failure in the hydraulic line, leading to an eruption of the deep fryer. For an eleven years, the plant didn’t perform one safety inspection on the plant. Safety investigators believed that an inspection might have prevented the deadly accident. The company never re-opened.

As a result of the companies negligence, a federal investigation was launched. The company was charged with one of the largest fines in North Caroline history, and the owner, Emmet Roe, received a 20-year prison sentence.

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