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Port Neal fertilizer plant damaged in fire, explosion; no one injured

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Nulex explosion

Emergency vehicles are shown at the scene of a fire and explosion Saturday evening at the Nulex plant in the Port Neal industrial area near Sergeant Bluff. No one was injured. A plant official said Sunday production at the facility is expected to resume within a few days.

SERGEANT BLUFF | The cause of a fire and explosion at a Port Neal fertilizer plant likely won't be known for several days, Gary Brown, director of emergency services for Woodbury County, said Saturday night.

No one was injured, but the Nulex plant received significant damage, Brown said. He said plant officials will have more information Sunday about how operations may be affected.

In all, 65-80 firefighters from about a dozen area departments responded to the 6:04 p.m. fire call at 2717 Port Neal Circle, Brown said. Officials did not release any information about the situation until close to 9:30 p.m., after the fire had been contained.

Brown said emergency crews will stay on the scene through the night to make sure it doesn't flare up.

He said an explosion occurred shortly after the first fire crews arrived, and one of the processing buildings became fully involved.

Hazmat crews from Sioux City Fire Rescue were assessing chemicals at the scene, Brown said.

Nulex produces liquid zinc micronutrients, according to its website.

The Port Neal industrial area is also home to fertilizer manufacturer CF Industries, which is building a $1.7 billion expansion.


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