One person injured in elevator explosion
Highway 30 closed to traffic
by Elizabeth Barrett
November 20, 2008
The All Points Cooperative grain elevator was rocked by an explosion at about 3:15 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 20.
One employee was in the area of the elevator and was injured, receiving burns on his face. He was taken to the Gothenburg Memorial Hospital and later transferred to St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln for assessment.
The employee escaped through a south door of the elevator where he had been operating the grain dryers at the time of the explosion.
A representative of the State Fire Marshal’s Office is on the scene assessing damage. Early assessments do not indicate a cause for the explosion. Officials have entered the elevator to check its structural integrity.
The elevator area, including Highway 30 and area side streets, are cordoned off and no one is allowed to enter the restricted area, according to Ed Foster, CEO of All Points Cooperative.
The top of the head house blew up in the explosion and its skeletal remains are hanging off the top of the elevator. The headhouse is where the leg is contained that elevates grain to the top of the elevator.
Union Pacific Railroad runs trains on three tracks to the south of the elevator. Foster said the company had slowed the trains to 5 mph after the explosion and that the tracks had not been damaged.
Foster said a small amount of wet grain was stored in the silo where the explosion occurred because larger amounts had earlier been run through the dryer.
Highway 30 and multiple side streets are being blocked off in the area.
He said the elevator has the capacity to store 1.4 million bushels of grain and that it was about 80% full when the explosion happened.
Foster said the elevator where the explosion occurred was built sometime in the 1970s.
Decisions about where farmers can take their grain, since All Points is not operational at this time, will be made on Monday, he said.