One of Logan County’s biggest employers is out of business. Sunday afternoon, the Cargill meat plant in Booneville burned to the ground. Now, hundreds of people are unemployed. The plant caught fire on Sunday at about 2:00 PM. Firefighters say it all started in a freezer where maintenance crews were welding. The flames got so out of control, emergency crews had to evacuate the scene and just let the plant burn. They were especially concerned about the plant’s ammonia tanks exploding. Jerry Travis has worked at Cargill for twenty-seven years. He explains, "We realized that it was a very serious situation." Monday morning, it was a different scene. Hundreds of, now former, Cargill employees stood in long lines to file for unemployment. Richard Carlson, who worked at the plant for twenty-one years, says, "This plant employs a little over 800 people, or it did employ a little over 800 people, and they are all out of work right now. We will have to just wait and see. Thats all we can do at this point." Booneville residents say the town’s economy is centered around this company, and now, they’re terrified by what could happen. Carlson says, "Its going to be difficult. Some people may lose their cars. Some people, I think theres a good possibility, could lose their homes over this." Cargill employees say Booneville is holding a town meeting Thursday morning at ten at the First Baptist Church. Cargill representatives should be there to answer questions.
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