Officials say a collapse at a processing plant in Omaha, Nebraska has left some fatalities and at least 10 injured.
Authorities say emergency teams responded to a report around mid-morning of an explosion and building collapse at the International Nutrition plant in southern Omaha, where 38 employees were working at the time.
International Nutrition is a plant that makes feed, vitamins and nutritional products for animals.
According to Omaha’s fire chief Bernard Kanger 10 people were injured two of them left in critical condition. It is unclear how many people have evacuated without sustaining an injury, the number of fatalities is still unknown. Emergency teams must slow down recovery efforts as the building is unstable. Rescuers must ensure their safety before entering the scene.
The fire chief said there was no hazardous chemicals at the plant, the cause of this explosion has not been determined at this time.
The plant sits in an industrial area near Interstate 80, there appears to be structural damage to the top of the building. There are no residences nearby and no other buildings were evacuated after the explosion.
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration website the plant is considered a high hazard due partly to the risk of fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation. The instability of the structure leaves Emergency workers at high risk.
The Omaha Police Department have tweeted pictures of the fire.
Diane Stout said she’d heard from her husband, a manager on the plant maintenance crew, so she knows he’s OK, but she and her two daughters were still anxiously waiting to see him because he has heart problems.
The workers all know each other well, Stout said, so she was hoping to hear good news about friends there.
Sarah White said she was at home with her four children when she got a call from her husband right after the explosion.
“I could hear the panic in his voice,” she said. “But he said he was OK.” She said he’d been watching trucks unload from outside the building when the blast occurred.
“That’s where he works every day. That could have been him,” White said, referring to the injured workers.
Her husband, Jamar White, said he was lucky.
Jamar White said he heard a loud crack and then looked up to see the back wall of the building collapsing.
“I ran at least 150 feet,” White said. “I ran far enough to make sure nothing else would keep falling.”
Afterward, White said, he could see inside the third floor of the building where at least two co-workers were screaming for help.