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Explosion, fire at Archer Daniels Midland facility in Illinois injures 8 employees

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LA Post: Explosion, fire at Archer Daniels Midland facility in Illinois injures 8 employees
AP
September 10, 2023

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — An explosion and fire at an Archer Daniels Midland facility in Illinois injured eight employees and sent a tower of smoke into the air Sunday evening, officials said Monday.

The explosion occurred shortly after 7 p.m. at the east plant in the ADM processing complex in Decatur, Illinois. Several employees were injured and transported to a hospital, the agricultural company said in a statement on its website Sunday.

Battalion Chief Wade Watson with the Decatur Fire Department said in a statement Monday morning that eight ADM workers were injured, and six of them were taken from the scene by ambulance with the “extent of injuries unknown.”

The statement said the fire was under control and a fire crew remains on the scene monitoring hot spots. The cause of the explosion and fire remains under investigation. The fire department said the incident did not warrant the evacuation of nearby residents.

The company said it did not know the cause of the explosion, which was followed by a large plume of dark smoke shooting high into the air above the facility in a video posted by WCIA-TV.

ADM said in an email to The Associated Press early Monday that it had no additional information at the time. A company employee later said that ADM officials were preparing an updated statement that would be released Monday morning.

The explosion is the second incident at the plant in less than a month, the (Decatur) Herald & Review reported. On Aug. 28, two Decatur firefighters required hospital treatment after they battled a large fire at the plant. In that incident, crews found heavy fire in a processing tank that was spreading into adjacent tanks.

Decatur is located about 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Springfield and about 180 miles (289 kilometers) southwest of Chicago, where ADM is headquartered.

It was not immediately clear what products are made at the plant where the explosion occurred. The company's Decatur complex employs more than 4,000 workers, according to the company's website.

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