Four remain hospitalized from ADM explosion

Eight employees were injured after an explosion at ADM's Decatur, Illinois, on September 10.

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Four people remain hospitalized after an explosion at ADM's grain processing facility in Decatur, Illinois, on September 10.

After the incident on Sunday, eight workers were hurt and six taken to a nearby hospital via ambulance and Medivac helicopters. According to a report at Firehouse, Decatur Memorial Hospital said it treated five patients from the blast. Four were transferred to Springfield Memorial Hospital, a Level 1 trauma center, and one patient was transferred to a hospital in Indiana.

ADM said one employee has been released from the hospital.

The worker who was taken to Indiana was identified in a Go Fund Me posting by his family as Yoan Heredia of Tuscola, Illinois. His sister-in-law, Halle Mann, said he was being treated at a trauma burn unit in Indianapolis.

According to a statement from ADM, the explosion occurred at approximately 7:11 p.m. on Sunday. The East plant produces soybean oil and white flake for soybean protein production.

According to the fire department's statement, emergency crews arrived on the west side of the blast area was faced with debris scattered over a wide area.

Fires were burning in a 10-story building with adjoining buildings to the north and south. The building to the west of this area also suffered severe damage.

Rail cars had to be moved to allow the fire department to access the building.

One report noted ADM used a drone with thermal imaging to assess remaining hot spots with real time imagery.

Once the exterior fires were contained, the fire department was able to send crews into the buildings with ADM personnel to extinguish remaining fires inside the buildings.

Operations to resume in the coming weeks

After the incident, ADM closed down the facility and the adjacent corn processing plant. ADM said it continues to assess the damage to its processing complex and has begun the process to restore operations.

The company said it expects the majority of soybean protein production to resume at the facility in the coming weeks as the investigation continues.

"Raw material production capabilities at the East plant were impacted by the explosion," the company said in a statement. "No damage occurred in the protein production area of the plant, and we are able to source raw materials from alternative facilities.

"We expect to restart the majority of protein production at the facility in the coming weeks," the company said. "We will also leverage our vast transportation and origination network to meet customer needs until we can resume full operations at the plant."

ADM said its priority remains offering support to injured colleagues who remain in the hospital as well as their families. It is providing counseling resources to colleagues onsite.

This is the third fire incident at the Decatur facility this year.

ADM's North American headquarters is located in Decatur, Illinois, which is the largest location and employee base for ADM globally with 4,000 employees. ADM has been in Decatur since 1939, when it began construction on the world's largest solvent extraction plant there.

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