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Caterpillar worker hurt, building leveled in Downstate blast

Updated: February 12, 2013 12:00AM

CARRIER MILLS — Caterpillar Inc. says an explosion at one of its southern Illinois sites where mining equipment is repaired has hospitalized one worker and destroyed a building.

Caterpillar spokesman Rusty Dunn says it’s unclear what caused the blast and subsequent fire Monday morning in an unattached paint building in the Saline County village of Carrier Mills. That building was leveled.

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.

Peoria-based Caterpillar is the world’s biggest maker of construction and mining equipment.

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