8 employees injured after explosion at Illinois plant

DECATUR, Ill. — Eight employees were injured Sunday after an explosion and fire at an Illinois plant, authorities said.

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Update 4:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 11: According to Jackie Anderson, a spokesperson for Archer Daniel Midland Co. in Decatur, eight employees were injured in Sunday night’s explosion. She added that as of Monday afternoon, five of the victims remained hospitalized, the Herald & Review newspaper of Decatur reported.

“Five employees remain in the hospital receiving treatment for their injuries, and our priority is providing our injured colleagues and their families support,” Anderson said in a statement. “The main fire was extinguished overnight, and we are continuing to closely monitor and assess the extent of the damage to the complex as we investigate the cause of the incident.

“The East plant, which produces soybean oil and white flake for soybean protein production, is down at this time, and the adjacent corn processing plant is also temporarily down until we can safely resume operations.”

Original report: According to a spokesperson for Archer Daniel Midland Co. in Decatur, the company’s East Plant experienced an explosion in ADM’s processing complex, the Herald & Review newspaper of Decatur reported.

The explosion occurred at about 7:11 p.m. CDT, according to the newspaper. It was unclear how many employees were injured.

Heavy smoke was seen coming from the northeast side of Decatur, WAND-TV reported.

In a statement, ADM spokesperson Dane Lisser said the company contacted the Decatur Fire Department.

“Several employees were injured and transported to the local hospital for treatment,” Lisser said. “Our thoughts are with our colleagues. We do not have a confirmed cause at this time.”

Weather cameras from WCIA-TV caught smoke rising from the plant.

Sunday’s incident was the third time this year that there was either a fire or explosion at the plant, WAND reported. In April, three employees were injured in an explosion at ADM’s west plant, according to the television station.

On Aug. 28, two Decatur firefighters were hurt while battling a three-alarm fire at the east plant. It took 46 firefighters to fight the blaze and took 13 hours to contain it completely, WFLD-TV reported.