Local authorities update carbon monoxide situation after ADM fire

COLUMBUS, Neb. -- People are testing positive for carbon monoxide poisoning in eastern Nebraska after an ethanol plant fire.

The East-Central District Health Department said they were notified Thursday of a smoldering coal fire at the ADM plant in Columbus which had been burning for weeks. The Columbus Fire Department extinguished the fire now.

However, four people were tested for carbon monoxide poisoning; two found positive. They were not hospitalized but treated. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, weakness, and an upset stomach.

Officials warn, if you live near the facility or south of the loup canal --- you are encouraged to install carbon monoxide detectors.

Health departments and NDEE are investigating to find out how long effects could last.

Campgrounds to the south could be compromised, too.

Columbus Mayor Jim Bulkley said Thursday that he hoped ADM would make a statement to explain the situation.

ADM then released the following statement Thursday night:

“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.”