UPDATE: Cedar Street Bridge reopened as firefighters, engineers work to mitigate scene at BioUrja

Biourja on Monday, May 16
Biourja on Monday, May 16(25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 3:13 PM CDT|Updated: May. 16, 2022 at 10:01 PM CDT
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UPDATE 9:52 P.M. - Both sides of the Cedar Street Bridge have been reopened to normal traffic by the Peoria Fire Department, according to the Peoria Emergency Communications Center.

UPDATE 6:06 P.M. - BioUrja says 150 people work at the BioUrja Renewables plant in Peoria and that the plant has been shut down since Thursday, May 12.

A spokesperson says staff is fully engaged in maintenance activities “as the majority of our facility was not impacted by the incident.”

The company has provided support and counseling for employees as needed and anyone not comfortable working at this time is not required to do so.

PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC ) - Peoria firefighters and BioUrja engineers have been on scene since 9 a.m. at the ethanol plant to figure out how to mitigate the scene.

Interim Fire Chief Shawn Sollberger says they are at the same level of concern as last Friday as they explore the best options on how to get water on the silo.

Engineers say they won’t touch the silos until the fire is out.

Heart of Illinois ABC observed firefighters at an access above the damaged silos putting water on the area from above. The feeling is that firefighters will be out of harms way being above the silos in case they collapse.

If efforts prove fruitful, officials will send in an unmanned apparatus up there to let the water do its job and get the firefighters out of there.

As of 3:03 p.m., the Cedar Street Bridge is closed in both directions on both sides of the river.

Officials have been working on a collapse zone safety plan and will issue a public safety announcement soon.

There is no way to predict which way the silos will fall if it does.

Officials are worried about a secondary collapse.

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