2 Dead in Omaha Feed Plant Explosion
Two workers are confirmed dead as the result of an explosion at an animal feed processing plant in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday morning.
Supports Fail and Floors Collapse following the Explosion
Early reports indicate that some workers were missing following an explosion at the International Nutrition plant, but authorities have now confirmed that at least two workers have lost their lives in addition to the 10 other employees and first responders who were injured.
According to the Houston Chronicle, both the second and third floors collapsed after key structural supports were damaged by the blast, leaving some workers buried under the wreckage as flames overtook sections of the building.
Though fire fighters were able to extinguish the flames fairly quickly, search and rescue efforts were slowed as fire officials felt the building was likely to experience further collapses and posed a serious threat to rescue workers.
Cause of Explosion Remains Unknown
Authorities are still trying to determine what caused the blast, and, according to Omaha Interim Fire Chief Bernie Kanger, an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration could take weeks.
Records indicate that the International Nutrition plant has been fined in two prior instances:
- $13,600 in 2002 for the death of a 45-year-old worker who was crushed by a mixing machine.
- $10,430 in 2012 after OSHA observed six “serious” violations during a planned inspection.
Grain and feed processing plants are considered highly hazardous by OSHA as grain dust explosions are not uncommon – more than 500 explosions at grain facilities in the past 35 years.
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