A major food processing plant in Illinois has been shut down after a massive explosion ripped through the facility.
At least eight people have been reported injured at the processing plant in Decatur.
As of early Tuesday morning, five of the injured people remain hospitalized.
The explosion and resulting fire occurred at an Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) processing complex.
The sudden explosion was reported just after 7 p.m. Central time on Monday.
“ADM immediately contacted the Decatur Fire Department, which remains on the scene,” an ADM spokesperson said in a statement.
“Several employees were injured and transported to the local hospital for treatment.
“Our thoughts are with our colleagues.
“We do not have a confirmed cause at this time.”
The incident impacted the section of the plant where corn and soy are processed, according to ADM.
ADM said corn and soy processing is now down and it is unclear when the plant can resume operations.
“A plant that crushes soybeans into soybean oil and white flake for soy protein production was down on Monday, ADM said,” according to Reuters.
“An adjacent corn processing plant was also ‘temporarily down until we can safely resume operations,’ the company said.”
The explosion has severely damaged crop processing operations, the company and the local fire department said.
Several structures were severely damaged in the blast, including a 10-story building and adjacent buildings, the fire department said.
DECATUR, Ill. (WLS) — At least eight people were injured at an explosion and fire in central Illinois Sunday.
It happened at the East Plant of the Archer-Daniels-Midland processing complex in Decatur.
ADM said the explosion happened at about 7:11 p.m.
Officials told CNN that at least eight people were injured.
Five people remained hospitalized on Monday afternoon, ADM said.
Details on the conditions of the injured people were not immediately available.
The official cause of the explosion has not yet been confirmed.
Illinois Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker offered state support services to help the victims of the explosion.
Videos from local news reports show smoke billowing into the sky from a distance shortly after the explosion.
The prolonged outage at the massive processing facility in the heart of the U.S. Corn Belt is expected to put downward pressure on crop prices.
The incident has come just as Midwest farmers are preparing to harvest their corn and soybeans.
U.S. farmers are already battling falling crop prices, especially for corn, as export demand has slumped.
The Decatur site, ADM’s North American headquarters and its largest facility globally, houses soybean crushing facilities and one of the largest corn wet mills in the world.
It has the capacity to produce 375 million gallons of ethanol biofuel annually, making it the largest in the country, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.
“Coming into harvest, if it is down for a week or more, that would really cripple the cash basis,” said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics.