Price Of Neglect

A chicken king goes to prison for the death of two dozen workers

EVEN IN THE BEST OF TIMES, IT WASN'T THE BEST OF jobs. Chopping and cooking chicken parts for Imperial Food Products was monotonous, relentless work, but , the company's largely black and female employees in Hamlet, North Carolina, were grateful for it -- until that awful day last year when a hydraulic line that ran the conveyor belt ruptured and sprayed flammable fluid that ignited, incinerating 25 employees. Horror swiftly turned to outrage when it was learned that the high death count was the result of illegally locked plant doors and the absence of a sprinkler system.

Last week Imperial owner...

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