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Three killed in plane crash in Georgia

Three people were killed on Friday after a single-engine plane crashed into a ravine outside of Atlanta, authorities said.

The crash happened shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, about two miles from Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville, Ga., About 55 miles northeast of Atlanta, said Emma Duncan, spokesperson. of the Federal Aviation Administration.

It was not clear what led to the accident.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office released the names of those killed: Dan Delnoce, 44, of Gainesville; Courtney Flanders, 45, of Gainesville; and Matthew Delnoce, 39, from Ohio.

Zachary Brackett, a spokesperson for the Hall County Fire Department, said firefighters were the first to arrive near Memorial Park Drive on the Atlanta Highway and discovered a plane had crashed into a ravine.

The plane, a Cessna 182, was heading for Daytona Beach, Fla., Brackett said. A spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board said on Saturday the agency was leading the crash investigation. The FAA is helping with the investigation.

Keith Smith, chief of the Gainesville Fire Department’s support services division, told Fox 5 Atlanta information station that it appeared the pilot had reversed course after take-off.

He said it was “speculation at this point”, but the pilot “turned around for some reason and apparently tried to return to the airport”.

Chief Smith also told reporters that part of a wing of the plane fell into a mobile home.

Fuel from the plane fell on another residence, Mr Brackett said, displacing three adults and a child. They were not injured.

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Newly vaccinated Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter return to church in Georgia

The list of announcements made on Sunday at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga. Included current affairs. There was a reminder of the deacons meeting immediately after the service and a request for donations of macaroni and cheese for a local food bank.

Then the pastor said he had one more announcement to share, and it was good news: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were back.

The former president, 96, and his wife, 93, had returned to church to worship in person for the second Sunday in a row, now that they had both received coronavirus vaccinations, Pastor Tony said Lowden.

“Let’s welcome them back,” Pastor Lowden told the congregation, according to a video of the service posted on the church’s Facebook page. The Carters, wearing masks, waved from their familiar spot on the front bench, acknowledging the applause from the church.

Pastor Lowden kindly reminded members that if they “got tackled” by the Secret Service when approaching the Carters, it would only be because the church practiced social distancing.

The Carters have long been dedicated members of Maranatha Baptist – her as a deacon, and he as a deacon and, for many years, a Sunday school teacher.

The Sunday School classes, which he no longer teaches, for decades attracted Democratic presidential candidates and visitors from across the country, who have made pilgrimages to hear the former president teach the church in the small farming community in southwest Georgia where he grew up.

Mr. Carter changed his church membership in 1981, joining after welcoming black members.

In the four decades since leaving the White House, Mr. Carter has built a remarkable post-presidential legacy with his work promoting human rights, fighting poverty and writing numerous books. . In 2002 he received the Nobel Peace Prize.

In recent years, however, he has experienced a series of health problems.

In 2015, he announced that he had been diagnosed with spreading cancer. Later that year, Carter announced he was cancer-free after undergoing treatment for metastatic melanoma that had spread to his brain.

In 2019, Mr Carter underwent surgery for a broken hip after a fall at his home and needed stitches over his forehead later that year after another fall. Most recently, he announced that he would not be traveling to Washington to attend the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Maranatha Baptist said on Facebook that the Carters’ return to church would be accompanied by a strictly enforced set of rules.

In addition to strengthening social distancing, the church said masks would be needed at all times – “without exception” – temperature checks would be carried out at the door and capacity would be capped at 30%, or 90 people.

Guests will need to make reservations and anyone entering the building will be screened by the Secret Service, the church said.

“We understand this is an exciting time for everyone,” the church said, adding that the rules “will keep everyone as safe as possible, both members and guests.

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David Perdue won’t challenge Raphael Warnock in the 2022 Georgia Senate race, after all.

Former Georgia Senator David Perdue has ruled he will not run against incumbent Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock in 2022, just a week after Mr Perdue announced he had tabled documents for a possible new campaign, and just days after a visit President Donald J. Trump.

Mr Perdue, 71, a Republican and former businessman who lost in the January runoff round to the state’s other newly elected senator Jon Ossoff, said in a statement he took the decision after “much prayer and reflection” with his wife. , Bonnie.

Mr Warnock defeated Kelly Loeffler, who was also a Republican incumbent, in January, winning a term that expires in January 2023. The two Republican losses transferred control of the Senate to the Democrats.

There were mixed signals from people close to Mr Perdue that a 2022 campaign was something he cared about compared to something some of his advisers insisted on. In one Publish Tuesday on Twitter, Mr. Perdue called it a “personal decision, not a political one.”

But the announcement came just days after Mr. Perdue made what is now becoming a ritual trip for Republicans – to former President Donald J. Trump’s private club in Florida, for dinner and a long round of golf last Friday. This raised questions among some Republicans about what Mr. Trump had told him during their time together.

The meeting did not go well, those briefed said. Mr Trump was focused on retaliation, especially against Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, and Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, a Republican whom Mr Trump considers to have betrayed him.

Two Republicans, one in Atlanta and one in Washington, have separately said that Mr. Trump spent much of his conversation with Mr. Perdue to clearly show his determination to topple the governor of Georgia next year. Trying to navigate a feud between the former president and his state’s incumbent governor for the next two years was deeply unpleasant for Mr Perdue, according to a Republican from Georgia who knows the former senator.

One of those briefed on the meeting with Mr Trump said this appeared to be a factor in Mr Perdue’s decision not to show up. But the second person said the most important factor was how potentially exhausting another campaign and possibly six more years in the Senate would be.

Now the question in Georgia is whether the 2022 race will become a 2020 rerun, when Ms Loeffler and former Rep Doug Collins clashed to run against Mr Warnock.

Yet after Ms Loeffler sprinted to the right to fend off Mr Collins, another Trump favorite, it’s unclear whether she would want to lead the same kind of primary. While Mr. Trump has publicly encouraged Mr. Collins to challenge Mr. Kemp, most Republicans in Georgia believe Mr. Collins is more inclined to run for the Senate.

Mr Perdue said he was “confident” that any candidate nominated by the Republicans would beat Mr Warnock, adding: “I will do whatever I can to make it happen.”

A message to Mr Perdue’s spokesperson was not immediately returned.

In his statement on Tuesday, Mr. Perdue echoed Mr. Trump’s false allegations of widespread electoral fraud in the state and called on Republican officials in Georgia to change state laws and electoral rules “so that ‘in the future, every legal voter is treated. and illegal votes will not be included. “

State election officials have repeatedly said the illegal vote has no impact on the outcome of the general election in November or the January run-off.

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David Perdue runs against Raphael Warnock for Georgia Senate seat

David Perdue, the U.S. senator for a Georgia term who lost a runoff last month to Sen. Jon Ossoff, filed documents Monday night indicating he was planning a comeback effort – this time against the other new senator from Georgia, Raphael Warnock.

Mr Perdue, a former businessman who first ran for office as a foreigner and then became one of former President Donald Trump’s closest allies in the Senate, has tabled documents to the Federal Election Commission to establish a “Perdue for Senate” campaign committee.

The move, first reported by Fox News, was seen as a first step in the Republican Party’s efforts to try to reclaim one of the Senate seats lost in the historic second-round election in Georgia on January 5.

Mr Warnock and Mr Ossoff prevailed in this second round – not only the first time a Democrat had won a Georgia Senate seat since 2000, but also a victory that gave Democrats control of the Senate. The two parties each have 50 seats in the chamber, with Vice President Kamala Harris voting for the tiebreaker.

Mr Perdue’s loss to Mr Ossoff followed a bitter campaign that ended with Mr Perdue being fired from the track following exposure to the coronavirus. An appearance by Mr. Trump on the eve of the state election failed to garner sufficient Republican turnout, leaving questions as to whether he was depressed by Mr. Trump’s repeated allegations of fraud during the elections. elections in this country.

Mr Ossoff received 50.6% of the vote against 49.4% for Mr Perdue, who waited two days to concede, prompting speculation he could challenge the outcome.

Mr Warnock prevailed over Senator Kelly Loeffler in their second round, from 51% to 49%. Both were running in a special election for a six-year term; the winner of the 2022 Senate race will serve a full term.

Georgia was already poised to be one of the main focal points in the 2022 election, with a hotly contested gubernatorial race that could feature a rematch between incumbent Republican Brian Kemp and his 2018 Democratic opponent , Stacey Abrams. Ms Abrams narrowly lost that race, but continued to lead a voting rights organization that was crucial to registering and mobilizing the Democrats who helped make Georgia blue for President Biden and Mr Warnock and Mr Ossoff. Ms Abrams has not announced whether she will run for governor again.

Mr Trump has already made it clear that he plans to get involved in the Georgia election in 2022: he has strongly criticized Mr Kemp, as well as the secretary of state and state lieutenant governor, for failing to not support his bogus allegations of electoral fraud in Georgia, and wants them to lose if they run for re-election.

Given Mr. Perdue’s ties to Mr. Trump, it’s possible the former president will be a campaigning presence for Mr. Perdue and against Mr. Kemp next year.

Still, it’s not entirely clear that a Republican Senate candidate should welcome future help from Mr. Trump.

Bill Crane, a Georgian political agent and commentator, said on Monday that the former president’s appearances on behalf of the two Republicans appeared to have worked against them in January – with depressed Republican participation in the two congressional districts where Mr. Trump served campaign.

Mr Crane, who has worked for Republican and Democratic candidates, said he would not be surprised if Mr Perdue ran against Mr Warnock given the tight results in his January race, adding that in order to win, Mr. Perdue should change his strategy.

“He would need to address occasionally to female, non-aligned, libertarian and more centrist voters, not just the grassroots of the Republican Party,” Crane said.

Working for Mr. Perdue is a significant war chest – about $ 5 million from his campaign remains available for a 2022 run, according to a federal election report.

Neither Mr. Warnock, who is completing a term left vacant by former Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, nor Mr. Ossoff’s offices immediately responded to messages seeking comment. Spokesmen for Mr. Perdue and the Georgia Republican Party were also not available.

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Georgia prosecutors will be looking at Trump allies like Graham and Giuliani.

Fani T. Willis, the senior prosecutor in Fulton County, Georgia, is targeting former President Donald J. Trump and a number of his allies in her recently announced probe into election interference.

Ms Willis and her office said the investigation, which she revealed this week, will include Senator Lindsey Graham’s November phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger about mail-in ballots ; the brutal impeachment last month of Byung J. Pak, the US attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, who won Mr. Trump’s enmity for failing to make his denied claims about voter fraud; and the false statements that Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal advocate, made before state legislative committees.

“An investigation is like an onion,” Ms. Willis told The New York Times in an interview. “You never know. You take something out, then you find something else.

She added, “Anything relevant to any attempt to interfere with the elections in Georgia will be brought under consideration.”

Kevin Bishop, a spokesperson for Mr Graham, said he had not had any contact with Ms Willis’ office. Mr. Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment.

Jason Miller, a spokesperson for Mr. Trump, called the Georgia investigation “the Democrats’ latest attempt to score political points.”

Mr Trump’s activity is at the heart of the Georgia probe, particularly his appeal last month to Mr Raffensperger, in which Mr Trump asked him to “find” votes to erase the loss of the former president in the state.

Ms Willis, whose jurisdiction encompasses much of Atlanta, has outlined a range of possible criminal charges in recent letters to state officials and agencies asking them to keep the documents, providing a partial map of the potential exposure of Mr. Trump and his allies.

Mr Trump’s calls to state officials urging them to subvert the election, for example, could run counter to a Georgian law dealing with criminal solicitation to commit electoral fraud, one of the charges described in letters. If this charge is prosecuted as a felony, it is punishable by at least one year in prison.

Ms Willis, 49, is a seasoned prosecutor who has carved a centrist record. She said in the interview that her decision to continue the investigation “is really not a choice – for me it is an obligation”.

“Every DA in the country has a certain jurisdiction for which it is responsible,” she added. “If an alleged crime occurs in their jurisdiction, I think they have a duty to investigate.”

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In Georgia, a new district attorney begins to surround Trump and his allies

“I have 182 open and uncharged homicides involving 222 defendants,” she said. “I have a safeguarded sex crimes unit. But I am quite able to identify some great people to work in this office who are dedicated to the cause of making this county safer, and I cannot fail in my duty, because I have others. responsibilities.

Clark D. Cunningham, a law professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, said it looked like Ms. Willis would “do her best” for the Trump case, “because of the range of types of crimes mentioned in this letter, ”he said, adding“ and in particular the racket and conspiracy talk.

The push to overturn the election results in Georgia began on November 13, when Mr. Graham, a Trump ally from South Carolina, phoned Mr. Raffensperger, Secretary of State for Georgia. Mr Raffensperger, a Republican, later said Mr Graham asked him if he had the power to reject all mail-order votes from certain counties, a suggestion the secretary of state rejected. (Mr. Graham disputed Mr. Raffensperger’s account.)

On December 3, Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal counsel, appeared before a Georgia State Senate committee, claiming that “there was more than ample evidence to conclude that this election was a sham ”and presented a number of false allegations. . Two days later, Mr. Trump called Brian Kemp, the Republican governor of Georgia, to urge him to call a special session of the legislature to overturn the election. Mr Trump then called Republican Attorney General of Georgia Chris Carr and pressured him not to oppose a legal attempt to challenge election results in Georgia and other swing states.

Due to Trump’s flurry of calls, Ms Willis said she believed she was the only relevant official who did not have a conflict of interest. As she wrote in letters to other officials, “this office is the only competent body which does not witness the conduct under investigation.”

Even after Mr. Raffensperger recertified the election results on December 7, Mr. Trump’s efforts intensified. Three days later, Mr. Giuliani practically testified before a State House committee, repeating false allegations that polling officers in an Atlanta arena had counted irregular ballots in suitcases, so that they were just using the normal storage containers. “Looks like they’re passing out of drugs,” he said at the hearing.

Gabriel Sterling, one of Mr. Raffensperger’s main collaborators, called the claims ludicrous “an ‘Oceans 11’ type system,” adding: “This has been completely debunked.”

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Georgia prosecutors open criminal investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn election

President Trump: “We won this election in Georgia based on all of this, and there is nothing wrong with saying that, Brad. You know, I mean, have a good – the Georgian people are angry. And these numbers are going to be repeated on Monday evening with others that we will have by then, which are even much more substantial. And the Georgian people are angry, the people of the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you recalculated, because the 2,236 missing votes, I mean, these are all exact numbers that were made by accounting firms, accounting firms. ‘avocados, etc., and even if you cut them in half, cut them in half and halve them again, that’s more votes than it takes. Brad Raffensperger: “Well, Mr. President, the challenge you have is the data you have is wrong. We spoke to members of Congress and they were surprised. But they – I guess there was a person named Mr. Braynard who came to these meetings and presented data. And he said there were deaths, I believe it was over 5,000. The actual number was two. Of them. Two deceased people who voted. And so it is wrong. It was two. Trump: “Well, Cleta, how do you respond to that?” … Trump: “Now do you think it’s possible that they shredded ballots in Fulton County?” Because that’s the rumor, and also Dominion released machines. This Dominion is going really fast to get rid of his machinery. Do you know anything about it? Because it’s illegal. “Ryan Germany. No, Dominion has not moved any machinery out of Fulton County – “” Well, but no, but did they move, did they, did they move the internal parts of the machines and replaced them with ‘other parts? ” “No.” “Are you sure, Ryan?” “I’m sure. I’m sure, Mr. President. … Raffensperger:” Mr. President, the problem you have with social media, people can say anything – “Trump:” No, this is not social – this is Trump’s media. This is not social media, it really is not. This is not social media. I don’t care about social … “” But … “” I don’t care. Social media is big tech. Big tech is on your side, you know – I don’t even know why you have a side, because you should want to have an accurate election. And you’re a Republican. . “We think we have a precise election.” “No, I – no, you don’t. No, no, no. You don’t. You don’t, not even close. You have hundreds of thousands of votes.” … Trump : “Because you know what they did and you don’t report it, it’s, you know, it’s a criminal, it’s a criminal offense, and you know, you can’t let that happen. It’s a big risk for you and Ryan, your lawyer. It’s a big risk. But they shred the ballots, in my opinion, from what I heard. And they take them away. machines and move them as fast as they can, which is criminal discoveries. And you can’t let it happen. And you let it happen. You know, I mean, I’m informing you that you let it happen. So look, all I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. “… Trump:” So tell me, Brad, what are we going to do? we do? We won the elections. And it’s not fair to take it away from us like that. And it’s going to be very expensive in many ways. And I think you have to say that you are going to review it. And you can reexamine it, but reexamine it with people who want to find answers, not people who don’t want to find answers. For example, I hear Ryan, that he’s probably, I’m sure, a great lawyer and all, but he’s making statements on these ballots that he doesn’t know. But he does them with such, he did them with certainty, but now I think he’s less sure, because the answer is they all went to Biden, and that alone wins us the election of many. . You know, then. Raffensperger: “Mr. Chairman, you have people submitting information and we have our people submitting information. And then he comes to court. And the court must then make a decision. We have to stay true to our numbers. We believe our figures are correct. … Trump: “Well, under the law, you’re not allowed to give false election results, okay? You are not allowed to do this. And that’s what you did. It is an incorrect election result. And honestly, it should go really fast. You should meet tomorrow, because you have a big election, elections coming up, and because of what you did to the president – you know, the Georgian people know that was a scam. And because of what you did to the president, a lot of people are not going to vote. And a lot of Republicans are going to vote against it because they hate what you did to the president. Okay? They hate it. And they will vote. And you would be respected, truly respected if that could be fixed before the election. You have a big election on Tuesday. … Trump: “I mean, look, it’s – you’d have to be a kid to think anything other than that, just a kid.” I mean, you have… ”Cleta Mitchell:“ How many ballots? How many ballot papers, Mr. Secretary, do you say were processed then? Raffensperger: “We asked GBI to investigate thoroughly.” “We had our – it’s Ryan Germany. Our law enforcement officers spoke to everyone who was – who was there after this event came to light. GBI was with them, as well as FBI agents. Trump: “Well, there’s no way for them – so they’re incompetent. They’re dishonest or incompetent, okay? There are only two answers: dishonesty or incompetence. … Trump: “I would like you, for my lawyers, I would like you to meet maybe Ryan, ideally tomorrow, because I think we should come to a resolution on this before the election.” Otherwise you’re going to have, you’re going to have people who just won’t vote. They don’t want to vote. They hate the state, they hate the governor, and they hate the secretary of state – I’ll tell you right now. And the only people who love you are people who will never vote for you. You know that, Brad, don’t you? They love you. You know, they love you. They can’t believe what they found. They want more people like you. So listen, can you get together tomorrow? And Brad, we just want the truth, it’s simple.

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Chicken town in Georgia rebels after plant disaster

GAINESVILLE, Georgia – The morning after a nitrogen leak in a chicken coop killed six people in the self-proclaimed poultry capital of the world, nearly everyone in its large Latino community stifled their grief and fear and did this that they had come to Gainesville to do.

They woke up before sunrise on Friday and went to work.

On Catalina Drive, a tidy street of vinyl-sided homes near the scene of Thursday’s crash, workers retreated from the aisles in dusty pickup trucks or drove to factories in small sedans with antiviral masks around the chin.

On the Atlanta Freeway, other workers were hauled to the chicken factories by the armada of local taxis – with names like Taxi Quetzal, Taxi Solano’s, Fiesta Cab – which became a crucial workaround for the many undocumented immigrants who do not want to take risks. arrested and possibly deported.

Nina Baca, 18, opened her door just after dawn, the usual plant stench spoiling the cool, cloudless January morning. Ms Baca had worked the night shift Thursday a short distance from the scene of the accident. Everything was business as usual, she said, except for the start.

“We just came together to pray for the people who have lost their families,” said Ms. Baca.

Of the six people killed Thursday by the ruptured liquid nitrogen line at Gainesville’s Foundation Food Group plant, five were Latin Americans; 11 other people were injured. A 3-year-old lost both parents in the crash, according to Arturo Corso, a local lawyer who worked with families at the plant.

The accident left a point-and-point kind of pain in Gainesville, a town of 43,000, or roughly 40% Latino, highlighting the disease and economic hardship plaguing the workforce in the best-known chicken town of Georgia in the aftermath of the coronavirus.

In the same way that some of the undocumented workers in Gainesville have feared being treated or tested for the coronavirus in recent months, some of the 130 workers evacuated from the plant on Thursday escaped the official meeting point before to undergo medical checks because they feared they would be noticed by authorities could lead to their deportation, according to Jennifer McCall, an immigration lawyer.

This is the way things are done in Gainesville, a town about 55 miles northeast of Atlanta, where a boom in the post-WWII chicken industry has been fueled by waves in recent decades. immigrants. “It’s terrifying,” said Maria del Rosario Palacios, a local organizer. “Our people are completely afraid of knowing if they can go to the hospital for a check-up. They say: “I will have to give my name when I work under another name”. “

According to a company spokesperson, Thursday’s crash was the result of a ruptured line carrying liquid nitrogen, a substance often used to cool or freeze processed chicken that, when released, can render the unbreathable air. It happened shortly after 10 a.m., sending dozens of frightened and confused workers into the parking lot. A witness told an Atlanta TV station he saw workers walk out of the factory breathless, two of them collapsing in the grass.

In a nearby trailer park, Juana Paloblanco, 54, heard the whine of sirens from rushing emergency vehicles on Thursday morning. A text in Spanish appeared on his smartphone: “Stay inside your trailer or move away from the Memorial Park area,” he said, warning of contaminants in the air.

“I was scared enough,” she says.

Georgia is the nation’s top chicken producer, producing more than 30 million pounds of chicken and seven million eggs every day, according to the state poultry federation.

Grueling, low-paying jobs are often avoided by Americans, and large numbers of Latin American immigrants began to settle in Gainesville in the 1990s to return to work. They and their children have since changed the face of the city. Gainesville’s Latin American population has doubled since 2000. And nearly 12% of the city’s residents are illegally in the country, according to the Pew Research Center, one of the largest proportions in any metropolitan area.

They don rubber boots and gowns and make their living in plants. They relax and shop on a stretch of the Atlanta Freeway that may feel closer to Michoacán than it is to Macon, with tiendas and restaurants offering hyper-regionalized tastes of home.

Tensions of welcome and rejection run simultaneously among the city’s non-Latin American population. For years, the city’s pretty downtown, with its old plaza organized around a Confederate war memorial, has hosted a jubilant Latino festival.

The city center also includes a small park celebrating the city’s poultry industry, with a small statue of a chicken on a two-story pedestal. A plaque honors mid-century poultry industry leaders who did for the chicken industry “what Henry Ford did for the automobile industry.”

On Friday morning, a nearby digital billboard ran an advertisement for the Wayne Farms chicken company, featuring a photo of a smiling worker in a lab coat and hairnet. “WE ARE THE FIRST LINE TO FEED THE WORLD,” he says.

The hosts of a local English-language radio talk show spoke of their prayers for the families of the dead and injured.

At the same time, the lack of legal status made Gainesville’s immigrant workforce vulnerable to deportation. Hall County, a Republican stronghold where Donald J. Trump won 70% of the vote last year, is participating in a controversial immigration law enforcement program that enlists and trains law enforcement to identify undocumented migrants who have been imprisoned.

As part of the program, the county routinely transfers these people to Immigration and Customs Enforcement after reserving them for offenses such as driving without a license or committing a traffic violation, according to community advocates. More than 100 people were kicked out under the program last year, a number that has increased dramatically after Mr. Trump took office.

Critics say immigrants are also vulnerable to exploitation at work.

“Gainesville’s poultry industry thrives on immigrant labor, recruiting undocumented workers and refugees to work in some of the most dangerous conditions of any sector of the economy,” said John Fossum, researcher at the University of Texas who studied industry. “It’s an industry-wide problem but particularly acute in Gainesville.”

Thursday’s crash under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is no stranger to the factory. The Foundation Food Group facility was fined more than $ 140,000 for security breaches in 2015 and 2016, according to records. The following year, two employees had several fingers amputated after being caught in machines. Further fines were imposed in 2019. The plant changed ownership in 2020.

Then came the coronavirus. As elsewhere in the country, after being deemed essential by the federal government, poultry factories have struggled to keep production at normal levels before the pandemic. In May 2020, when Covid-19 was rampant at poultry facilities, 56% of those who fell ill were Latin American workers, and Hall County had twice the infection rate of neighboring Gwinnett County.

Gainesville factories have not systematically provided adequate protective equipment or ensured that other safety measures are in place to protect workers, according to community leaders. Ms Palacios, the organizer, said she regularly provides disposable masks to workers.

“We have a high rate of Covid, and this factory is a factory where a lot of our people have gotten sick,” she says. She said her mother caught Covid-19 at a chicken factory months ago from a man who came to work visibly ill. The man later died. Ms Palacios said her mother had a stroke while she was ill.

Foundation Food Group said in a statement it was following federal guidelines to send home all employees who tested positive for the virus, granting up to two weeks of paid sick leave, and had not been informed no coronavirus-related deaths at its facilities. .

“Foundation Food Group policy strongly recommends and encourages employees to wear masks,” which are provided by the company, the statement said.

In response to Thursday’s crash, Jerry Wilson, the company’s president and CEO, said he was speaking to the families of affected workers. “Foundation Food Group is working diligently with government authorities to determine the cause of the accident,” he said.

Late Friday morning, Ms. Palacios said, she spoke to 11 workers at the Foundation’s factory. A number of them complained of headaches. She was trying, she said, to convince them to overcome their fears and go to the hospital.

Vanessa Sarazua, founder and executive director of Hispanic Alliance GA, a support group, opened the group’s mall storefront and led a small group of volunteers to help both those affected by the crash – and might need help with funerals. , psychiatric care or rent – and others who were just hungry.

The latter are growing in number, said Ms Sarazua, due to the lack of work during the pandemic. Many other families relied on food distributions because they did not get guaranteed sick leave from their employers during quarantine and had to go without their wages when they fell ill.

Shortly after 10 a.m., a despondent family arrived, including a woman whose sister had been killed at the factory. Her face was dark and she held a phone to her ear as she walked silently into Ms. Sarazua’s office.

But in much of the city, work just went on as usual. In front of La Flor de Jalisco # 2, a popular supermarket, Alberto Ramirez, 54, stood with a large contingent of daily workers. He said he was saddened by the chicken factory tragedy.

“People are going to be much more afraid to go to work in these places now,” he says.

But he doubted anyone would stay away. “We have bills,” he says. “We have the rent. We have families to support.

Richard Fausset reported from Gainesville, and Miriam Jordan from Los Angeles.

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Video: Several people killed in liquid nitrogen leak at Georgia poultry plant

new video loaded: Several killed in liquid nitrogen leak at Georgia poultry plant

transcription

transcription

Several killed in liquid nitrogen leak at Georgia poultry plant

At least 6 people have died and nine others were hospitalized after a liquid nitrogen leak at a Foundation Food Group poultry plant in Gainesville, Ga. On Thursday.

“At 10 am today, a tragic accident occurred at the Foundation Food Group’s prepared food facility in Gainesville, Georgia. The first indications indicate that a nitrogen line has broken inside the installation. Pending confirmation, we are very, very sad to say that six team members appear to have died and others have been taken to hospital with very serious injuries. Some first responders were also exposed and treated. People lost today include members of the maintenance, supervision and management teams. Every member of the team is equally important to us, and our hearts go out to their families and communities who have suffered such a devastating loss. “The involvement of the sheriff’s office in this situation is right now with the death investigation, the deceased person investigation. Additionally, as you’ve heard from the fire department, OSHA is also on the scene to investigate, as well as the investigation unit of the State Fire Marshal’s Office. So they will mainly look at the cause of this. We are investigating the matter from the point of view of the death investigation. I heard from our on-scene investigators that fire departments were able to enter the facility and found it safe at around 1:40 p.m. this afternoon. And so our crime scene unit was able to come in and start processing the scene. “Our sheriff’s investigators are currently working to identify all the victims who lost their lives in this very tragic event today. They’ll – from there, they’ll inform the families of those victims who perished. So I would ask everyone to keep families in your prayers. And many of these people who came to work today had no idea what was going to happen, neither did their families. They are not in a profession where you would expect something like this to happen. But here we are. “

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Grady County, Georgia Covid Case and Risk Tracker

By Jordan Allen, Sarah Almukhtar, Aliza Aufrichtig, Anne Barnard, Matthew Bloch, Sarah Cahalan, Weiyi Cai, Julia Calderone, Keith Collins, Matthew Conlen, Lindsey Cook, Gabriel Gianordoli, Amy Harmon, Rich Harris, Adeel Hassan, Jon Huang, Danya Issawi, Danielle Ivory, KK Rebecca Lai, Alex Lemonides, Allison McCann, Richard A. Oppel Jr., Jugal K. Patel, Alison Saldanha, Kirk Semple, Julie Walton Shaver, Anjali Singhvi, Charlie Smart, Mitch Smith, Albert Sun, Derek Watkins, Timothy Williams, Jin Wu, and Karen Yourish. Reporting was provided by Jeff Arnold, Ian Austen, Mike Baker, Ellen Barry, Samone Blair, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Aurelien Breeden, Elisha Brown, Emma Bubola, Maddie Burakoff, Alyssa Burr, Christopher Calabrese, Zak Cassel, Robert Chiarito , Izzy Colón, Matt Craig, Yves De Jesus, Brendon Derr, Brandon Dupré, Melissa Eddy, John Eligon, Timmy Facciola, Bianca Fortis, Matt Furber, Robert Gebeloff, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Matthew Goldstein, Grace Gorenflo, Rebecca Griesbach, Benjamin Guggenheim, Barbara Harvey, Lauryn Higgins, Josh Holder, Jake Holland, Jon Huang, Anna Joyce, John Keefe, Ann Hinga Klein, Jacob LaGesse, Alex Lim, Eleanor Lutz, Alex Matthews, Patricia Mazzei, Jesse McKinley, Miles McKinley, KB Mensah , Sarah Mervosh, Jacob Meschke, Lauren Messman, Andrea Michelson, Jaylynn Moffat-Mowatt, Steven Moity, Paul Moon, Derek M. Norman, Anahad O’Connor, Ashlyn O’Hara, Azi Paybarah, Elian Peltier, Sean Plambeck, Laney Pope , Elisabetta Povoledo, Cierra S. Queen, Savannah Redl, Scotland Reinhard, Thomas Rivas, Frances Robles, Natasha Rodriguez, Jess Ruderman, Kai Schultz, Alex Schwartz, Emily Schwing, Libby Seline, Sarena Snider, Brandon Thorp, Alex Traub, Maura Turcotte, Tracey Tully, Lisa Waananen Jones, Amy Schoenfeld Walker, Jeremy White, Kristine White, Bonnie G. Wong, Tiffany Wong, Sameer Yasir and John Yoon. Data acquisition and additional work provided by Will Houp, Andrew Chavez, Michael Strickland, Tiff Fehr, Miles Watkins, Josh Williams, Shelly Seroussi, Rumsey Taylor, Nina Pavlich, Carmen Cincotti, Ben Smithgall, Andrew Fischer, Rachel Migliozzi, Alastair Coote , Steven Speicher, Hugh Mandeville, Robin Berjon, Thu Trinh, Carolyn Price, James G. Robinson, Phil Wells, Yanxing Yang, Michael Beswetherick, Michael Robles, Nikhil Baradwaj, Ariana Giorgi, Bella Virgilio, Dylan Momplaisir, Avery Dews, Bea Malsky and Ilana Marcus.

Additional risk assessment contributions and advice by Eleanor Peters Bergquist, Aaron Bochner, Shama Cash-Goldwasser, and Sheri Kardooni of Resolve to Save Lives.