Authorities on Friday released the names of the six employees who were killed after liquid nitrogen leaked at a Georgia food processing plant Thursday.

The dead, all employees of Foundation Food Group in Gainesville, were identified as Jose DeJesus Elias-Cabrera, 45; Corey Alan Murphy, 35; Nelly Perez-Rafael, 28; Saulo Suarez-Bernal, 41; Victor Vellez, 38; and Edgar Vera-Garcia, 28, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office announced.

Four of the victims lived in Gainesville, while Murphy and Suarez-Bernal were from the nearby towns of Clermont and Dawsonville, respectively. Perez-Rafael was the only woman among the victims.

There was no immediate cause of death listed for the six, pending autopsies performed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the sheriff said.

The cause of Thursday’s deadly workplace incident, about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta, is being investigated by sheriff, fire department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, officials said.

While Foundation Food Group Vice President Nicholas Ancrum declined to discuss the cause of the accident in detail on Thursday, he said “preliminary indications are that a nitrogen line ruptured inside the facility.”

Poultry plants use refrigeration systems that often include liquid nitrogen, which vaporizes into an odorless gas capable of displacing oxygen when leaked.

Image: David K. LiDavid K. Li

David K. Li is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.


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