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Cargill Nebraska beef plant still shut after fire, may open Saturday

By Meredith Davis

(Reuters) - A Cargill Inc beef processing plant in Schuyler, Nebraska, remained closed Friday while it was being repaired after a fire and ammonia leak forced it to shut early on Thursday, a company spokesman said.

"Our management team in Schuyler is meeting with USDA this morning. There are also some electrical repairs that are being done, so our goal would be to operate tomorrow," Cargill's spokesman Michael Martin said.

The plant, about 90 miles west of Omaha, which slaughters 5,000 head of cattle daily, isn't receiving or processing cattle on Friday while electrical repairs are completed.

"Since we're not harvesting and we're not receiving cattle. There is a cold storage warehouse containing inventory adjacent to, and connected to, the plant that was not impacted. If necessary, we are filling customer orders from other plants," Martin said.

It wasn't known what had caused the fire and ammonia leak, but the damage was largely contained to a heating and cooling unit and part of the plant's roof, Martin said.

No injuries were reported, he said.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)