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January 22, 2014

2nd body recovered from Omaha plant that collapsed

OMAHA — OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Authorities on Tuesday recovered the body of a second worker who was killed when an Omaha manufacturing plant collapsed, while federal investigators tried to pinpoint a cause of the industrial accident that killed two and injured 17.

Interim Fire Chief Bernard Kanger said authorities retrieved the body from the International Nutrition building at 3:45 p.m. Authorities believe no other people are in the building.

Kanger said the two men killed were found on the second floor, but the bodies were not near each other. Thirty-eight people were in the animal feed and supplement plant on Monday when it collapsed.

Authorities said they recovered the body of 53-year-old Keith Everett, of Omaha, on Monday night. The second worker killed was identified Tuesday evening as 47-year-old David Ball, of Omaha.

Crews from Omaha and Lincoln had suspended their work Monday night because of shifting winds, cold temperatures and the dangerous rubble. They restarted Tuesday morning with a team of specially trained firefighters. The team also took a structural engineer to help make sure their efforts didn't further destabilize the crumpled structure, putting rescuers at risk.

"After hours of hard work under extremely dangerous conditions, members of both teams were able to recover the (second) victim," Kanger said.

Meanwhile, authorities were still trying to determine a cause.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators were on the scene of the accident Tuesday morning as they took the lead in investigating the collapse, OSHA spokesman Scott Allen said.

It was too early to know what might have caused part of the three-level International Nutrition plant to collapse, Allen said. The plant makes nutritional products that are added to livestock and poultry feed.

Some witnesses reported hearing an explosion before a fire that burned some workers and the partial collapse of the plant.

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