Several people were injured in an explosion at a building in Marengo, Iowa, on Thursday as crews attempted to put down a larger explosion. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Police received a report of an explosion and fire around 11:20 a.m. local time, and several rescue and fire crews responded to the scene. According to the police, there were around 30 people in the building at that time and all of them have been identified.
“At this time, we don’t have any fatalities,” Iowa State Patrol trooper Bob Conrad said Thursday afternoon. Konrad said not everyone needs therapy, but those who do need it are getting it. Specifics about the injuries were not immediately clear, but Conrad said they ranged from “minor” to “more concerning.”
The Iowa County Sheriff’s Office warned Marengo residents to stay indoors and avoid the area, sharing a photo of a large plume of black smoke.
Many nearby buildings and homes were evacuated due to “wind concerns, chemical concerns and fire,” Konrad said.
The sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook, “Urgent City of Marengo: Anyone escaping the fire can go to the Iowa County Transportation Building. Otherwise please stay indoors. A major fire is being fought. Please, someone Don’t watch the scene!”
The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics said that “multiple patients were received following today’s explosion in Marengo and it is anticipated that others may be en route. At this time, we are evaluating the severity of injuries and to ensure working to get all patients the care they need.” We are unable to comment on the specific conditions of patients in our care at this time.”
In a post on Facebook, the city of Marengo asked residents to avoid going outside because of smoke from the fire. Officials warned residents that their water could turn brown due to “excess water use for fires”.