Hamlet chicken processing plant fire
The Hamlet chicken processing plant fire was an industrial accident. It occurred on September 3, 1991 at the Imperial Foods Chicken Processing Plant in Hamlet, North Carolina, United States. In the center of the plant, a hydraulic line failed and ignited the cooking oil in a 25 feet (7.6 m) long frying vat. An automatic fire extinguisher, which was state of the art at the time, had been installed over the cooking vat, but it failed to put the fire out. The fire spread quickly and many workers were unable to escape due to locked fire exits. 25 workers died and 54 were injured in the fire. The plant never reopened and was demolished in 2001. The fire was the worst industrial accident in North Carolina's history and led to new safety requirements for industrial facilities in the United States.