Hospital officials said that a massive fire continues to burn at a plant in Iowa, causing multiple injuries.
According to Iowa State Trooper Bob Conrad, no fatalities were reported following the explosion at the facility in Marengo. All 30 people in the building have been accounted for.
The incident injured 10 to 15 people, most of whom suffered mild to moderate injuries, according to Dr. Theresa Brennan, chief medical officer at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.
There was only one patient who fell into the most serious injury category for a mass casualty incident, Brennan said.
A drone video showed emergency responders battling a large fire with black smoke billowing from the plant, which ABC Cedar Rapids affiliate KCRG reports is a soybean crushing plant.
In response to the fire, the local sheriff’s office advised anyone who had been evacuated to go to the Iowa County Transportation building or stay indoors.
In a post on social media, the Iowa County Sheriff’s Office said it is fighting a large fire. “PLEASE, DO NOT SEE THE FIRE!” it said.
Residents were also advised to stay away from the 800 block of East South Street amid the fire.
A loud boom was heard Thursday morning by residents in the area.
Sam Murphy told KCRG, “I saw the ambulances and fire trucks going, and I saw smoke right away, so I went down to the Big G and got some water.”
He was working three blocks from the plant when he was ordered to evacuate. Anthony Schropp told KCRG he was among those ordered to evacuate.
The explosion shook the building. “We thought someone drove into our shop’s garage door,” he said.
In an interview Thursday evening, Trooper Conrad said the fire is not yet out, but is “down” from where it was. Once the fire is extinguished, the state fire marshal can begin an investigation.