The Omaha explosion in an animal feed processing factory on Monday, caused two deaths, and injured at least ten other people.
Omaha Police Lt. Darci Tierney said all 38 of the workers in the plant at the time had been accounted for, so the police didn’t expect the death toll to grow.
For most of the day, authorities refused to give details of the casualties. Eventually they confirmed that two died, ten were hospitalized and seven were lightly hurt but refused treatment. The other 19 workers were safe.
Keith Everett, 53, of Omaha, was named as one of the victims. The name of the other victim wasn’t released.
Search-and-rescue teams worked into Monday evening to stabilize the building and removed one victim.
However, the strong winds, cold temperatures, and the fact that the building was declared to be dangerous, forced rescuers to suspend operations before the second victim could be recovered, according to Omaha Interim Fire Chief Bernie Kanger.
Authorities still don’t know what caused the blast, but Kanger said that there were no hazardous chemicals at the plant. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will need to determine the cause of the accident, but the investigation could take weeks.
The top of the building seems to be seriously damaged. Fortunately, there are no residences nearby; other industrial buildings in the vicinity weren’t evacuated after the Omaha explosion.