Process Management

News last update:7 Aug 2012

Three dead and three missing after grain elevator explosion

At least three people are dead and three are missing in Kansas, USA after an explosion rocked a grain elevator in Atchison on Saturday evening.

Besides the three workers confirmed dead, three people remain unaccounted for and two others are hospitalized in critical condition following the Saturday night explosion.
Atchison City Manager Trey Cocking says officials are weighing whether it's safe to send fire teams into the facility, which sustained significant damage.
Witnesses said the enormous boom resulted in a fireball shooting up so high from the Bartlett Grain Co. that it could be seen across state lines in Missouri. The explosion also shook homes and businesses miles from the facility.
With smoke continuing to billow from the top of the grain elevator Sunday morning, police were keeping people at least a quarter-mile away from the facility.
Authorities searched overnight for victims in the rubble of the Bartlett Grain. This is a busy time of the year for grain elevators because of crop harvest.
Rescue crews were seen digging through the rubble on Sunday and authorities said additional heavy equipment would be brought in.
Bill Fellows, president of Bartlett Grain, said in a statement that 11 employees were loading a train with corn when the blast occurred around 7 p.m. He added while many of those workers were able to escape there were fatalities and some injuries.
The cause of the explosion was not made clear, though blasts can occur if grain dust becomes suspended in the air and turns volatile in the right temperature and humidity.

Dick Ziggers

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