One dead at ADM Iowa corn processing plant

CHICAGO Wed Jan 2, 2013 6:33pm EST

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CHICAGO Jan 2 (Reuters) - One worker died and another was hospitalized after they became unconscious while working at an Archer Daniels Midland Co corn processing plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Preliminary reports indicate the two men were preparing a fermentation tank for maintenance and encountered "an oxygen-deficient environment," causing them to lose consciousness, the Cedar Rapids fire department said in a statement.

The men, ages 50 and 46, respectively, were found unconscious at about 7 a.m. CST (1300 GMT), the company said.

The 50-year-old was pronounced dead at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids. The other victim was reported in stable condition at another local hospital.

ADM said it was working with officials to determine the cause of the incident.

The employees' names were not released.

The plant, which processes corn into ethanol and other products through a "wet milling" process, was operating normally on Wednesday after the incident, the company said.