An explosion at a food processing company in Illinois injured many people on Sunday.
Decatur, Illinois, is home to over 70,000 people, and ADM said an explosion occurred on its premises at about 7 p.m.
The East Plant of the complex sustained extensive damage. Officials said that the East facility, which produces soybean oil and white flake to manufacture soybean protein, is now down. Officials have also shut down the neighboring corn processing factory.
Houses in the area felt tremors from the explosion.
It’s the third fire at ADM this year, and it follows the “extremely labor-intensive” battle that took place at the same factory only 12 weeks ago.
At 7:12 p.m., the Decatur Fire Department got the first reports of the blast and fire. Several employees were hurt, debris was strewn over a large area, and flames were blazing in a 10-story structure when the first vehicle arrived at the ADM East processing facility.
While responding, the Battalion Chief received new information that prompted him to call for a second alarm. Thirty-three fire trucks and crews were sent to the facility.
Firefighters had to work around rail carriages blocking their approach before reaching the burning system.
To contain the blaze, firefighters deployed two high-volume hoses and an aerial apparatus from a single engine. A thermal imaging drone supplied by ADM helped firefighters pinpoint problem areas within the structure once the external flames were controlled.
The fire department stayed on the site into the early morning hours. After two in the morning, just one fire company stayed to make sure the blazes were extinguished, and they’re still there as of Monday morning.
Eight ADM employees were harmed in the explosion. Authorities said six people were carried away in ambulances after receiving treatment from firemen at the site. In addition, four medevac helicopters were employed to transfer patients to hospitals with specialized trauma care units.
OSHA personnel were sent to the site and began investigating what caused the blast. They have six months to finish the inquiry and issue citations and penalties if they find that health and safety standards were broken.