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Kansas Ag News Headlines
Tyson Kansas Plant Burns; Governor Sends Assistance
Kansas Ag Connection - 08/12/2019

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly sent assistance from her administration in response to a fire overnight that caused significant damage to the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Holcomb.

"Our agencies are prepared to coordinate support for Tyson and its workers as needed during this challenging time," the governor said.

The fire started Friday night and firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control about 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Crews will remain on scene throughout the afternoon to keep an eye out for any flare-ups.

Officials are assessing the damage and weren't sure exactly the scope of the damage, but part of the roof has collapsed.

Tyson Fresh Meats opened Saturday afternoon for employees to retrieve their items, such as keys and wallets. All employees were told to monitor Tyson's social media site for further updates.

Kelly asked Secretary of Commerce David Toland and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam to travel to Finney County today to meet with Tyson representatives and local government and economic development officials to offer and coordinate support from the state as needed.

The Department of Commerce and Department of Labor have rapid response resources available to assist employees and businesses affected by closings and other setbacks.

Tyson officials Friday night said in a statement, "We safely evacuated workers about 8:30 p.m. Friday night from our beef plant near Holcomb due to a fire that started in the box shop. We have had no reports of injuries. The plant will be down indefinitely until we can assess the damage. We will soon be notifying our team members about informational meetings."

Authorities say a 911 call came in at around 8:35 p.m. from someone who said there was a fire on the west side of the building where the process begins.

Additional units were called in to assist.

Around 1,200 employees were on the scene at the time of the fire. All of them were evacuated and there are no reports of any injuries.

The American Red Cross and Salvation Army were on hand to help.

Officials also say, while they appreciate the outpouring of support for firefighters and emergency responders at the scene, they'd like people to coordinate donations through Finney County Emergency Management (620-272-3747).

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