Second person dies from injuries in Ag Processing explosion

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

A second person injured in the Aug. 29 explosion at a soybean processing plant has died.

Mark T. Croghan, 45, of Sioux City, died Saturday at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where he'd been hospitalized since the explosion.

The explosion at the AG Processing Inc. plant, in the Port Neal Industrial Complex, happened while the plant was shut down for maintenance.

The explosion was caused when hexane gas, used to extract oils from seeds and vegetables, ignited. The state fire marshal's office was continuing to investigate the explosion.

Kyle Heck, 22, of Hornick, died Sept. 9 at Nebraska Medical Center.

Six other men were injured in the blast.

Richard Scott, 24, and Patrick Swanson, 44, both of Sioux City; Dusty Hannah, 26, of Moville; William Beck, 47, of Onawa; Carl Parker, 40, of Eagle Grove; and Eric Ploen, 23, of Kingsley, all have been released from area hospitals.

A family friend, Virgil Handke, said Croghan, was active in extracurricular activities at his son's high school.

"If (Mark) believed in the cause, he went all out," Handke said. "He usually didn't get involved with causes he didn't believe in.

"Mark is going to be really missed. I know he's going to be missed at his work, but also at his extracurricular activities at West High."

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