DECATUR, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. Department of Labor confirmed Monday that they are opening an OSHA investigation following the explosion at the ADM East Plant Sunday night.
The explosion left eight employees injured, and it took the Decatur Fire Department nearly seven hours to get the fire under control.
Illinois Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (D-IL 13) said this investigation is warranted, especially considering past incidents at the facility.
“I’m glad to see that OSHA is doing this investigation. They are going to talk to the workers in the plant, they are going to talk to ADM, they’re going to talk to the Decatur Fire Department to find out what they saw when they were on the site, putting out the fire late last night,” Budzinski said. “So I think this situation calls for an investigation, that investigation is underway. And like I said, I’m very much looking forward to see the answers, to what turns up.”
This will be the third investigation into ADM working conditions by OSHA this year alone. A spokesperson for the Department of Labor said OSHA has an investigation open from April of 2023 and an investigation into a separate fire at a building close to the east plant that happened only two weeks ago in late August.
“OSHA is aware of the explosion at Archer-Daniels-Midland processing facility in Decatur, Illinois. We have personnel responding to the incident, but we cannot provide additional details until our inspection and investigation are completed,” Scott Allen, Regional Director for Public Affairs and Media Relations at the U.S. Department of Labor, sent in a statement. “OSHA has six months to complete its investigation, issue citations and propose penalties if violations of workplace safety and health regulations are found.”
Public officials, such as Decatur Mayor Julie Moore-Wolfe, Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL 15) and Governor J.B. Pritzker (D-Illinois) all said their offices are offering support where the city or ADM may need it.
“Our hearts are with the families of those affected by the explosion in Decatur last night,” Pritzker said in a statement posted on social media Monday morning. “My administration is in touch with those at ADM and have offered state support in any way we can.”
Budzinski echoed those sentiments, but in an interview with WCIA, she also said she wants answers from ADM on exactly what happened.
“We have a lot more to learn,” Budzinski said. “I am looking for answers. I’m not going to stop until we get the clear answers as to what happened last night. Is there any, you know, connection to any of the other incidents that might have happened or not? That’s why there are OSHA investigations.”
ADM responded to a request for comment following the news of the latest OSHA investigation:
“The safety of our employees is always our top priority,” ADM spokesperson Jackie Anderson said in a statement to WCIA. “We take incidents like these very seriously and are fully cooperating with OSHA’s investigation.”
OSHA has six months to complete investigations. The report on the incident from April 2023 will be due in October.