National

Ammonia leak at Wisconsin plant

sends workers to hospitals

VILLAGE OF DARIEN, Wis. (AP) — Authorities say 15 people were taken to hospitals after an ammonia leak at a Birds Eye food plant in southeastern Wisconsin.

Multiple agencies responded early Sunday to the plant in the Village of Darien.

Authorities say 140 people were working overnight at the factory when alarms and sensors started going off. Ammonia is used at the facility for the freezing and cooling of food.

A hazardous materials team official says 15 people were taken to five area hospitals. New Jersey-based Pinnacle Foods, which owns Birds Eye, said Sunday night that most have been released, while three people remain under observation.

Seventy-five workers were checked at the scene and released. The Janesville Gazette reports authorities suspect a “mechanical malfunction” led to the leak.

Officials say there is no threat to the community.

Police: Michigan motel fire that

killed 6 was an accident

SODUS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a fire that killed five children and their mother at a Michigan motel appears to have been an accident.

The Berrien County sheriff’s office says experts found no evidence of an accelerant that would have started the deadly blaze early Saturday at the Cosmo Extended Stay Motel in Sodus (SO’-dis) Township. The precise cause still is under investigation.

The fire began in a first-floor room of the two-story motel, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Chicago. Twenty-six-year-old Kiarre Curtis and five of her children died in a room on the second floor. The sheriff’s office said Sunday that autopsies confirmed all six died of smoke inhalation.

Curtis’ husband and a 1-year-old child survived.

The sheriff’s office says investigators are also examining the motel’s fire alarms and smoke detectors.

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