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Update: Archer Daniels Midland resumes corn processing at plant in Decatur after explosion injures 8 employees

Screenshot of emergency crews gathering after an explosion at the ADM plant in Decatur on Sept. 10, 2023. (WAND News)

Updated Wednesday at 12:00 a.m.

DECATUR — Archer Daniels Midland is restarting operations at its corn processing plant in Decatur. It was shut down for two days after an explosion Sunday night injured eight people – six of whom were hospitalized.

The Chicago-based company says it hopes the corn plant will return to normal operations in the coming days. ADM says it will take weeks to return to normal at its soybean facilities, where the main blast took place.

The company says it is supporting the four people who are still hospitalized and providing counseling to others. 


Updated Monday at 12:00 p.m.

DECATUR (AP) — An explosion and fire at an Archer Daniels Midland facility in Illinois injured eight employees and sent a tower of smoke into the air Sunday evening, officials said Monday.

The explosion occurred shortly after 7 p.m. at the east plant in the ADM processing complex in Decatur, Illinois. Several employees were injured and transported to a hospital, the agricultural company said in a statement on its website Sunday.

Battalion Chief Wade Watson with the Decatur Fire Department said in a statement Monday morning that eight ADM workers were injured, and six of them were taken from the scene by ambulance with the “extent of injuries unknown.”

The statement said the fire was under control and a fire crew remains on the scene monitoring hot spots. The cause of the explosion and fire remains under investigation. The fire department said the incident did not warrant the evacuation of nearby residents.

The company said it did not know the cause of the explosion, which was followed by a large plume of dark smoke shooting high into the air above the facility in a video posted by WCIA-TV.
ADM said in an email to The Associated Press early Monday that it had no additional information at the time. A company employee later said that ADM officials were preparing an updated statement that would be released Monday morning.

The explosion is the second incident at the plant in less than a month, the (Decatur) Herald & Review reported. On Aug. 28, two Decatur firefighters required hospital treatment after they battled a large fire at the plant. In that incident, crews found heavy fire in a processing tank that was spreading into adjacent tanks.

Decatur is located about 40 miles east of Springfield and about 180 miles southwest of Chicago, where ADM is headquartered.

It was not immediately clear what products are made at the plant where the explosion occurred. The company’s Decatur complex employs more than 4,000 workers, according to the company’s website.


Updated – Sunday at 11:22 p.m.

DECATUR -ADM in Decatur confirms that there are multiple injuries after an explosion at its East Plant on Sunday night. 

According to WAND News in Decatur and CNN, at least eight people were injured.

ADM issued this statement to the media, Sunday at 8:30 p.m.:

Tonight at approximately 7:11 p.m., there was an explosion at the East Plant within ADM’s processing complex in Decatur. ADM immediately contacted the Decatur Fire Department, which remains on the scene. 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.

WAND reports seeing first responders driving towards the ADM complex around 7:30 p.m. Neighbors reported to WAND News they felt their homes shake.

While ADM was evacuated, the Decatur Fire Department says there’s been no evacuation order for homes.

This is the third major fire and explosion at ADM in 2023.

According to WAND News, in August, two firefighters were injured while fighting a fire at the East Plant. Both were hospitalized. In April, an explosion in ADM’s West Plant injured three workers.

Via X (the social media site formerly known as Twitter), 13th Congressional District Rep. Nikki Budzinski (D) and 15th Congressional District Rep. Mary Miller (R) said they are both monitoring the situation at the plant.

ADM or Archer Daniels Midland is one of America’s largest agricultural companies.

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