10 Hospitalized in Omaha Plant Explosion
At least 10 people have been injured and others may still be trapped following an explosion and partial building collapse at an Omaha animal feed processing plant.
Rescue Efforts Delayed after Omaha Plant Explosion
- The Omaha World-Herald reports that at least 38 employees were at work Monday when an explosion left the International Nutrition plant in Omaha, Nebraska engulfed in flames.
- Though fire fighters were able to extinguish the blaze, it is still unclear how many workers could be trapped as rescue efforts have been delayed.
- According to Interim Omaha Fire Chief Bernie Kanger, concerns that the structure is not sound and that further collapses could occur have slowed all attempts to search the wreckage to a crawl.
- Authorities declined to comment on possible fatalities, but family members of some of the workers stated that they had been told by loved ones inside the building that some people may be missing or trapped inside the building.
Prior Accidents and Violations Reported at the Omaha Feed Plant
Another accident was reported at the International Nutrition plant in August, 2002 when a 45-year-old man was crushed to death by a mixing machine. The company was fined $13,600 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after accident investigators observed five “serious” violations.
The company was also fined in 2012 after a planned inspection. Though an OSHA report did not detail the violations, the agency did indicate that they involved medical services, the handling of materials, general requirements for machines and wiring methods.
The 2012 fine resulted in the firm paying $10,430 to settle six “serious” violations. A “serious” violation indicates a workplace hazard that could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious harm.
Grain and animal feed processing is currently considered a “high hazard industry” by OSHA due to a high risk of grain dust explosions. According to the agency, there have been more than 500 explosion at grain facilities in the past 35 years resulting in the deaths of more than 180 people and the injury of at least 675 people.
Contact an Experienced Workplace Accident Attorney
Thomas J. Henry fight to protect the rights of workplace injury victims. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed on the job, contact Thomas J. Henry. The goal of our offices is to not only protect your rights, but to send a message so the same tragedy does not happen again. We represent clients/victims all over the country.