Two employees at a North Carolina animal processing plant were found dead at work Sunday afternoon, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.
Identities of the two have not been released and the department has not determined a cause of death.
The “unresponsive” employees were found around 1:30 p.m. at the Valley Proteins plant near the Cape Fear River in east Fayetteville. Fayetteville is about 64 miles south of downtown Raleigh.
“Fayetteville Fire Department HAZMAT and Pearce’s Mill Volunteer Fire Department (County Station 3) responded and evacuated the building. North Carolina OSHA Emergency Response Team also responded,” officials said.
“The cause of death is under investigation, and more details will be released as they are confirmed. Our deepest sympathies are with their families, friends, and coworkers during this time.”
Valley Proteins is a Virginia-based company that has locations across the Southeast, including five in North Carolina and two in South Carolina, according to the company’s website.
“Valley Proteins, Inc. provides services for the collection, rendering and recycling of animal processing and supermarket waste streams (fat and bone trimmings; meat/poultry waste) and restaurant used cooking oil,” the company reports.
“Our goal is to manage our business in an environmentally-responsible manner that positively contributes to the protection of the environment and preservation our natural resources.”