An explosion ripped through the Triumph Foods pork processing plant in St. Joseph, Mo. on Wednesday afternoon. At least one person was killed and at least 14 others were injured in the blast.

Early reports attribute the blast to natural gas, but authorities stopped short of making any definitive statements as to the cause. There was no fire after the blast and little smoke. But there were holes punched through the roof, more than 20 of the building’s windows were blown out and portions of the second floor collapsed.

The blast likely was touched off in an area where contractors were doing finish work, officials said. Besides offices, the eastern part of the building where the explosion occurred houses a cafeteria.

The 600,000-square-foot plant, built for $130 million and designed to process 1,000 hogs an hour, was scheduled to open next month and generate 1,000 jobs. The blast, contained to an administrative portion of the plant, means to those plans was unclear.

Kansas City Star, Meatingplace.com