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Worker hurt, building damaged in Ill. plant blast

CARRIER MILLS, Ill. (AP) - Caterpillar Inc. and police say an explosion at one of the company's southern Illinois sites where mining equipment is repaired left one worker hospitalized and heavily damaged a building.

Caterpillar spokesman Rusty Dunn says it's unclear what caused the blast and fire yesterday morning in an unattached paint building. That building was heavily damaged. Saline County Sheriff's Office Lt. Tracy Felty says it happened near the village of Carrier Mills.

Dunn says an unidentified employee sustained burns and was taken to a St. Louis-area hospital. His medical status was not immediately known.

The Carrier Mills site and a related site in nearby Norris City together employ about 70 people. It's not clear how many workers were at the Carrier Mills location when the explosion happened.

Carrier Mills is about 140 miles southeast of St. Louis.

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