Multiple Injuries After Explosion at Iowa Plant, Homes Evacuated

Iowa County Iowa Sheriff's Office, Marengo, Iowa

A large fire has broken out following an explosion at what appears to be a soybean crushing plant in Iowa, according to property records.

Officials with the University of Iowa Health Care told ABC News that the facility has received “multiple patients” as a result of the explosion 25 miles southwest of Cedar Rapids, the cause for which remains unknown at this time.

“At this time, we are evaluating the severity of injuries and are working to ensure all patients receive the care they require,” the hospital said in a statement. “We are unable to comment on the specific conditions of the patients in our care at this time.”

According to KCRG, the building is owned by Heartland Crush, but is operated by C6-Zero, “a company that converts used roofing shingles into biodiesel and other products.”

“Flames continued to be visible from the building for hours, with a large plume of smoke emanating from the building,” added KCRG. “Officials have evacuated several nearby homes and are urging people to avoid being outside due to the smoke.”

As many as 10 to 15 people are estimated to have been injured in the explosion. Officials say that around 30 people were inside at the time of the incident. Some of the injured have already been released. Residents in the area told reporters they heard a loud boom at the time of the incident.

“I’d seen all the ambulances and stuff going, and the fire trucks, and I’d seen the smoke right away,” a resident told KCRG. “So I went down to the Big G and got some water and stuff for them.”

“It shook our building. We heard the explosion,” said another resident. “We thought someone drove into our garage door at the shop.”

Drone footage at the site showed emergency responders attempting to put out the fire. The local sheriff has advised people to steer clear of the area.

“A large fire is being fought,” the Iowa County Sheriff’s Office said on social media. “PLEASE, NO SIGHT SEEING!”


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