AP

Iowa plant explosion, fire lead to injuries, evacuation

Dec 8, 2022, 2:55 PM | Updated: 4:22 pm

MARENGO, Iowa (AP) — An explosion and fire at an agricultural plant Thursday in eastern Iowa has caused injuries and an evacuation of people near the operation.

The explosion and fire happened about 11:15 a.m. in Marengo at a plant owned by Heartland Crush, a soybean crushing company. Hours later, the fire continued to burn.

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City said it had received patients injured in the explosion, according to KCCI-TV.

Iowa State Patrol Senior Trooper Bob Conrad told the Des Moines Register that at least 30 people were in the plant when the explosion happened. It wasn’t clear what caused the explosion.

Conrad said the fire was still burning Thursday afternoon and might continue through the night.

Crews were fighting the fire, which caused a huge plume of black smoke visible for miles.

Residents near the plant were evacuated, and the Iowa County Sheriff’s Department advised people who live at a safe distance to stay indoors to avoid exposure to smoke.

Marengo is about 80 miles (129 kilometers) east of Des Moines.

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Iowa plant explosion, fire lead to injuries, evacuation