High Fructose Corn Syrup Spill: Timeline Of A Tragedy

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High Fructose Corn Syrup Spill: Timeline Of A Tragedy

It has now been 48 hours since an explosion ripped through the massive GoldenMade corn syrup factory in Leon, Iowa and sent over a million gallons of high fructose corn syrup spilling into the surrounding environment. Below is an hour-by-hour timeline of the events:

HOUR 1: An industrial gas oven in the plant's food processing department explodes, ripping a 200-foot-wide hole in the exterior wall of the factory. Commercial-grade corn syrup begins to gush out of a damaged storage tank at a rate of 5,000 gallons per second.

HOUR 2: The bodies of Goldenmade security guards Kim Parker and David Kawalek are found more than a quarter mile away from the factory, their lungs filled with the sweet syrup that was a major ingredient in dozens of their favorite foods. Rescue workers speculate their guard station was hit in the initial blast of corn syrup and swept away in a 100-foot-tall tidal wave of goo.

HOUR 3: Emergency rescue crews attempt to use structural steel plates to repair the breach in the factory wall and staunch the flow of corn syrup still pouring from the factory but the plan is unsuccessful.

HOUR 4: The National Guard arrives. Local residents are ordered to evacuate but many choose to stay to try to protect their homes or in hopes of eating the delicious syrup.


HOUR 5: The evacuation process is delayed when the National Guard discovers their helicopters are grounded, their skids stuck in the thick syrup.

HOUR 7: As last of the corn syrup trickles from the factory and night settles over Leon, officials estimate more than 20,000 acres of land is covered in standing corn syrup.

HOUR 16: Upon sunrise area wildlife, which have been eating the corn syrup in massive quantities, are suffering side effects of sugar consumption. Hyperactive raccoons are witnessed nervously pacing back and forth, small fish are darting around in sugar-laden ponds at three to four times their normal speed, and irritable deer are seen biting and poking each other seemingly just to annoy one another. Thousands of animals die of heart attacks.

HOUR 19: Animals are "crashing" after their extended sugar high. Glassy-eyed, drooling bears are witnessed sitting against trees staring off into space and lethargic squirrels are found passed out in the middle of road.

HOUR 30: Scientists test the Thompson River and find it has a 63% sugar content. Thomspon River bottled water instantly becomes the best selling bottled water in the region, with fans reporting it tastes much like Mountain Dew.

HOUR 35: Residents are allowed back into their homes but are urged not to clean their possessions by licking them. Few heed the warning and hospitals see a second wave of emergency room visits due to tongue lacerations and complications resulting from the consumption of inedible objects.

HOUR 39: A huge ant problem is reported across much of the Midwest.

HOUR 40: President Obama pledges a million dollars in disaster funding, stating, "The delicious syrup we Americans rely on for 70 percent of our caloric intake has today become our enemy."


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