Hastings Fire & Rescue battles a large structure fire.
Source: Hastings Police Department

Lightning struck a Nebraska fertilizer plant in southeast Hastings and destroyed a $14 million facility late Thursday night, while leaving four workers injured.

The late night lightning strike ignited the dry fertilizer plant owned by Cooperative Producers Inc. (CPI), said officials at the state fire marshal’s office.

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Hastings Rural Fire department got the call to go to 2275 East South Street at 11:30 p.m. Thursday. Firefighters from the city of Hastings, Trumbull, Glenvil and Juniata battled the blaze for four hours before bringing it under control.

Schneider Bold

Firefighters battled flames and heavy smoke coming from the roof of the building.

What was left continued to smolder throughout the day on Friday.

Preliminary damage estimates for the bulk dry fertilizer plant were $14 million for the building and $5 million for the fertilizer product.

There were four injuries in the incident, police said.

Two semi-drivers on the scene were waiting for the plant to open to make a delivery. They suffered minor injuries and were treated and released a few hours later. In addition, two other workers ended up rushed to the hospital to receive treatment for minor burns.

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