Officials: At least 1 worker dead after 3 barns collapse at Ohio egg farm

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

At least 1 dead in Ohio egg farm barn collapses

CROTON, Ohio — Three barns collapsed Wednesday at Ohio’s largest egg farm, killing at least one worker, authorities said.

The cause of the collapses at Ohio Fresh Eggs wasn’t immediately clear, said Bill Schwaderer, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Two construction workers who were laying concrete blocks were killed, he said, but the Licking County coroner’s office confirmed only one death.

The barns in Croton, about 25 miles northeast of Columbus, had been empty of hens for several years and were being renovated, Schwaderer said. Water and electricity had been turned off for the renovation.

A message seeking comment was left at the farm Wednesday.

Ohio Fresh Eggs produces about 5 million eggs per day at operations in three counties. It has a history of clean-water law violations and complaints from neighbors about fly and rodent infestations.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture revoked the farm’s permits to operate in 2003, but an appeals panel later reversed that decision.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year fined the company $300,000 for illegal water pollution.

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