An explosion on Monday at an animal feed processing plant in Omaha, Neb. killed two and sent at least 10 people to the hospital. The blast brought down part of the International Nutrition plant, although authorities do not expect the casualty count to rise, having accounted for all 38 people in the plant at the time. As of Monday night, one body had been recovered, but weather conditions forced the operation to be suspended until Tuesday.
Investigators are unclear as to what caused the explosion. The plant did not contain any hazardous materials—unlike the massive West, Texas explosion last year—that might have caused the explosion and, according to the Associated Press, specialized in "products that are added to livestock and poultry feed to make them more nutritious."
The plant does handle grain however, and as The New York Times reports, "The [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] considers grain-handling to be very dangerous, largely because grain dust is highly combustible." Structural supports failed, causing the second and third floor to collapse onto the first. There also appears to be damage to the top of the building.
One of the victims was 53-year-old Keith Everett, and the other's identity has not been released by the authorities yet. The Interim Fire chief declined to officially identify the incident as an explosion, but multiple news outlets are reporting that it was. Eyewitnesses that suffered burns and fire damage reported as much and rescuers reported fire and smoke coming from the building.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.