Columbus residents warned of possible carbon monoxide exposure after ADM fire

COLUMBUS, Neb. -- East Central District Health Department (ECDHD) was notified Thursday of a smoldering coal fire at the ADM plant in Columbus.

ECDHD and Columbus officials said in a press release that they are working closely together to monitor the situation. The incident has been reported to the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy.

Residents in the immediate vicinity are encouraged take precautions against possible Carbon Monoxide exposure. Symptoms of CO exposure include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

Fire officials told NCN they could not comment on whether there was a danger or not, but that they were managing it. Police say they are not involved. Employees told NCN they are not concerned. 

ADM issued a statement via email, stating:

“Recently, ADM colleagues discovered smoldering coal in our storage dome in Columbus, NE. We called the fire department, and are working with external experts from Hazard Control Technologies to monitor the situation and extinguish any remaining hot spots. Ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees, the community and the environment are among our most important responsibilities, and we will conduct a thorough investigation of this incident.”

Fire officials say that residents with concerns of exposure to CO should consider installing a battery-operated CO detector to monitor for unsafe levels of CO in their homes. For more information about CO exposure, click here.

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