At Least 2 Dead in Omaha Plant Explosion

Not yet clear what caused explosion at International Nutrition
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2014 1:44 PM CST
Updated Jan 20, 2014 5:06 PM CST
Workers Trapped, Injured in Omaha Plant Explosion
Firefighter stage outside the International Nutrition plant in Omaha, Neb., Monday, where a fire and explosion took place Jan. 20, 2014.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

An explosion at an Omaha animal feed processing plant has killed at least two people and left 10 or more injured, the Omaha World-Herald reports. Other workers were trapped inside after a partial building collapse this morning, and a World-Herald reporter tweets that none of them have survived. It's not clear what led to the incident at International Nutrition, nor how many workers were trapped, though initial reports indicate a total of 12 to 15 workers were either trapped or hurt, two of them critically; 38 were at work when the accident occurred. The interim fire chief says no hazardous chemicals were on-site.

Family members waiting outside the plant say they've communicated with people inside, who say one or two people are likely trapped or missing, the AP reports. Firefighters are searching the building, but damage is complicating their rescue efforts. Witnesses reported seeing smoke coming from an askew grain elevator; OSHA says grain handling is a "high hazard industry" because of, among other things, grain dust's "highly combustible" nature and the risk of grain dust explosions. (More explosion stories.)

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