UPDATE: 2nd body identified in Omaha building collapse - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

UPDATE: 2nd body identified in Omaha building collapse

Posted: Updated: Jan 21, 2014 08:58 AM CST
Courtesy:  Action 3 News Omaha Courtesy: Action 3 News Omaha

Posted By:  KLKN Newsroom, Kayla Bremer, Jenn Hatcher, Bill Schammert
bschammert@klkntv.com or 8@klkntv.com

UPDATED INFO: Lincoln Battalion Chief Brad Thavenet with Nebraska Task Force One says the second body has been recovered from the collapsed building in Omaha. He has been identified as 47-year-old David Ball. The first victim is 53-year-old Keith Everett.

On Tuesday, Thavenet described the scene inside International Nutrition.

"Big heavy concrete structures just dangling up above you, and every time the wind would blow through the structure, they would start to wave," he said.

Nebraska Task Force One is a Lincoln based urban search and rescue team.  They were deployed Monday morning to help with search and rescue efforts.  They returned to Omaha early Tuesday morning with a structural engineer to resume recovery efforts.

"The ability to be able to stabilize the structure, to make headway and head further into the structure safely and efficiently was probably the biggest hurdle," Thavenet said.

The second body was recovered Tuesday around 3:45 p.m. 

Ten people were taken to the hospital Monday.  Four have now been released.

Omaha Interim Fire Chief Bernard Kanger says it appears both workers were killed on the second floor.  The recovery mission has now turned into an investigation.

"At this time the Omaha Planning Department has deemed this structure as unsafe and dangerous which means that nobody can enter the structure," Kanger said. "The property owner is going to have to secure the structure and provide security for this building."

OSHA records show the plant has been cited before for safety violations, including for the 2002 death of a 45-year-old worker who died when he fell into a moving mixer he was cleaning.  Other records show that the plant, which makes nutritional products that are added to livestock and poultry feed, was cited for six violations in 2012.

FROM MONDAY

The incident happened Monday at 10:00 a.m. at International Nutrition.  Two people with severe burns were taken to the St. Elizabeth's Burn Unit in Lincoln.  One firefighter was injured, but his injuries were non-life threatening.

The explosion occurred on the far west end of the structure.  "I first heard a crack and then I looked up and I seen everything tumbling and falling down, the building collapsed," says Jamar White, an International Nutrition employee who was outside the building at the time of the accident.

Area emergency responders including 50 Omaha firefighters and multiple medic units responded to the scene.  Nebraska Task Force One was later called to aid with search and rescue.

Thirty-eight people were working inside the plant at the time of the explosion.  Fire officials say firefighters reported smoke and flames when they arrived.  A second alarm and mass casualty incident was called a few minutes later.  Chief Kanger says five victims were pulled from the building including one individual who had to be physically cut from the debris.

"You see a smile on my face right now because my husbands okay but I'm just thinking about all the other people right now where their families are hurting so my thoughts and prayers go out to them," says Jamar's wife, Sarah.

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