An ammonia leak at the JBS plant in Butchertown yesterday caused the evacuation of about 700 workers. Firefighters urged people in the neighborhood to stay indoors in the hours immediately after the leak. Some residents complained the fire department waited too long to sound the sirens warning of the leak. Officials say they activated the sirens after increasing the threat level of the leak.
Letcher County residents have been warned not to use their tap water for anything but flushing toilets. A petroleum leak is suspected, and was also the culprit for a similar incident in November 2008.