Ten people are injured after a plant explosion in Omaha, NE. (Source: Officer Mike Bossman/Omaha Police Department)
Two people died after a plant explosion in Omaha, NE. (Source: Officer Mike Bossman/Omaha Police Department)
The interim fire chief says 38 people were at work when the accident happened. (Source: Officer Mike Bossman/Omaha Police Department)
Rescuers had to suspend their recovery efforts Monday due to inclement weather. (Source: Officer Mike Bossman/Omaha Police Department)
OMAHA, NE (RNN) - A recovery operation at a plant collapse in Nebraska has been suspended for the night due to inclement weather.
Two people died on Monday after fire officials say a "significant event" occurred at the International Nutrition plant in Omaha around 10 a.m. CST.
"We're not prepared to make a comment with regards to what
actually happened," said interim Fire Chief Bernard Kanger.
"There have been reports of fire and an explosion, what we do know is a significant event occurred that resulted in a catastrophic failure in that building."
One of the deceased victims has been recovered from the site. Recovery efforts for the second victim will continue Tuesday after high winds and "brutally cold temperatures" forced rescuers to suspend efforts for the night.
"Tomorrow's operation will be very labor intensive and very time consuming," Kanger said.
In all, 38 people were believed to have been in the building when it collapsed. Authorities believe everyone has been accounted for. Five people were pulled to safety by firefighters, including a victim who had to be cut out of concrete and steel.
Ten people were taken to hospitals. Four of the workers hospitalized are in critical condition and six were treated for injuries that were not life threatening.
First responders shifted from rescue to recovery mode around 2 p.m., approximately four hours after the structure collapse.
Power, gas and electricity have been turned off until the recovery and investigation is complete. The portion of the building where the collapse occurred has been considered unstable.
Witnesses from a neighboring business said they saw fire and smoke but did not hear a boom.
According to the International Nutrition website, the company makes medicated, nutritional and specialty foods for livestock and other animals.
OSHA reports the grain handling industry, including feed mills, is a high hazard industry, and grain dust accumulation can lead to fires and explosions.
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