In a grain dust explosion at the Flagstaff Purina plant, four people have been critically injured. Two were taken and treated at the Flagstaff Medical Center. The other two were taken tothe Maricopa Medical Center.
Four contractors were welding on the fifth floor of the plant, when dust produced during the foodmaking process ignited. Flames from the welding equipment ignited the grain dust, which is highly inflammable, according to the Fire Department. The blast blew multiple metal doors off their hinges at the facility. They say the flames were isolated and didn’t spread to other parts of the plant.
“There could have been a lot of things that could have been factors in making this thing go the wrong way. Our crews were able to get on scene and assess those patients and they were transported almost immediately to the hospital. They got care very, very quickly,” Matt Smyers, captain with the Flagstaff Fire Department said.
Smyers says the Purina Plant remains partially open and the incident is under investigation. He says the explosion is the first major accident at the nearly 40-year-old plant.
According to a Nestlé Purina website, the Flagstaff plant employs about 250 workers and produces 1,000 tonnes of dry dog and cat food a day.