One person dead, another injured in incident at Cedar Rapids ADM plant

Two employees were found unconscious in the corn wet mill

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CEDAR RAPIDS - One man is dead, and another is in the hospital after an incident in a food processing and trading corporation Wednesday morning, authorities said.

Officials responded to Archer Daniels Midland facility at 1350 Waconia Avenue SW around 7:30 a.m. for a medical emergency. Firefighters arrived to find a 50-year-old male and a 46-year-old male unconscious and immediately began medical  treatment. Officials said ADM employees found the two unconscious adult males in the corn wet mill and moved them to an open location within the facility. Cedar Rapids Fire Department Battalion Chief Andrew Olesen believes the two employees were moved to make it easier to provide medical assistance.

Preliminary reports indicate the two victims were preparing a fermentation tank for maintenance, an area that ADM spokesperson David Weintraub said alcohol/ethanol gets made. Officials believe the two employees encountered an oxygen-deficient environment, which caused the victims to go unconscious.

The 50-year old victim was pronounced dead at Mercy Medical Center, and the other victim, a 46-year old male, was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital and was last reported in stable condition, officials said.

Olesen could not comment on the specific area the two employees were initially found unconscious. "I cannot say if this specific incident was involving a confined space," Olesen said. "But we try to get all over town to do training in these confined spaces. It benefits both of us."

The exact cause of the incident has not been determined.

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