Around 1,200 employees were evacuated from the Tyson Fresh Meats Plant near Holcomb, KS in the late hours of August 9, 2019 when the facility caught fire and burned for more than twelve hours. Flames raged until early Saturday morning but thankfully, no injuries have been reported.
Recent reports suggest a spark from welding during scheduled maintenance likely started the inferno.
“We are relieved to hear there were no injuries from the fire and that our members are safe,” said Cornell Beard, District Business Representative of IAM’s District 70 in Wichita, KS. “We stand ready to assist our Local 1989 brothers and sisters with anything they need.”
Tyson announced that the Holcomb plant would close indefinitely until the company could assess the damage. At a Wednesday afternoon press conference, the company reaffirmed its commitment to rebuild but told reporters the plant has sustained major damages.
All full-time active employees are guaranteed pay despite the devastating situation. According to one Tyson representative, “we are working to get the plant up and running again as quickly as possible.”
In a press release, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said, “Our agencies are prepared to coordinate support for Tyson and its workers as needed during this challenging time.”