An explosion and fire at the Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) facility in Decatur, Illinois, reportedly injured at least eight people.
According to a company spokesperson, the explosion occurred shortly after 7 p.m. on Sunday, but it’s unclear what caused the blast.
“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,” Reuters reports.
— Reuters U.S. News (@ReutersUS) September 11, 2023
CNN noted a spokesperson’s comment that the explosion occurred at the east plant within the company’s processing complex.
“ADM immediately contacted the Decatur Fire Department, which remains on the scene. Several employees were injured and transported to the local hospital for treatment,” the spokesperson said.
“Our thoughts are with our colleagues. We do not have a confirmed cause at this time.”
The location in Decatur, which is about 40 miles east of Springfield, is the company’s North American headquarters, according to its website. More than 4,000 employees work at the location.
“ADM has been a member of the Decatur, Illinois, community since 1939, when we began construction on what was then the world’s largest solvent extraction plant,” the company’s website says. “Today, Decatur is home to ADM’s North American Headquarters and is the single largest location and employee base across ADM’s global footprint. More than 4,000 colleagues work here in Decatur every day to unlock the power of nature to enrich the quality of life for billions around the world.”
🚨 'Several' employees injured after explosion rips through ADM food processing plant in Illinois
When you control the food, you control the peoplehttps://t.co/CU1Uz84nnk
— charlie tango (@charlie_tango98) September 11, 2023
Reports stated that eight employees sustained injuries, six were transported to the hospital, and five remained hospitalized Monday morning.
It has the capacity to produce 375 million gallons (1.42 billion liters) 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.
Spot basis bids for corn at ADM’s Decatur location tumbled by 35 cents a bushel from late bids on Friday while soybean bids were flat. Bids have been dropping across the Midwest in recent weeks as buyers await newly harvested grain.
“A prolonged outage at the massive processing facility in the heart of the U.S. Corn Belt would put downward pressure on crop prices just as Midwest farmers are preparing to harvest their corn and soybeans,” Reuters stated.
WCIA News added this video report: