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Victims In Grain Bin Explosion Awarded Over $180 Million

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CHESTER, IL (KPLR)-- Workers who were burned in a grain elevator accident in Southern Illinois are speaking out about their multi-million dollar court victory.

The men say no amount of money can replace the pain, stress, and stares from others they have received since that April day in 2010 when a grain elevator exploded in flames in Chester, Illinois.

The men were injured when they were removing equipment from a grain bin at the Con-Agra owned site when it exploded.

Jurors in East St. Louis deliberated about 10 hours after a month-long trial before returning a verdict awarding more than $180 million to workers John Jentz, Robert Schmidt and John Becker.  Jentz had burns over 75 percent of his body.

Jentz, another worker and their lawyer spoke at a news conference Monday saying that Con Agra grain bin had not been properly cleaned in 20 years and the company failed to inform workers of the dangers of an explosion.

Officials with the Con Agra Corporation say the accident was tragic but the company doesn't agree with the verdict or damages. Con Agra plans to appeal.