Bin Collapse Forces HazMat Response

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 @ 02:03 PM gHale


Corn that spilled out of a collapsed 90,000 bushel grain bin shut off power, forced the closure of a major road and ruptured a 2,000-gallon propane tank in Breda, IA, fire officials said.

There were no injuries in the incident.

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The Region V Hazardous Materials Response Team responded to the emergency Wednesday morning at Breda Feed and Grain Inc.

The collapsed bin destroyed four other bins and another building on the property, said Capt. Steve Hergenreter, of the Fort Dodge Fire Department.

The corn spread across the road and caused Carroll County Road E16 to close for about seven hours.

The collapse of a 90,000-bushel grain bin caused the town of Breda to lose power for several hours.


Utility poles and transformers also suffered damage from the flood of corn, causing the town to lose power.

Power ended up restored to the area, Hergenreter said.

The ruptured propane tank caused propane vapors to blow across the road, Hergenreter said.

Six members of the HazMat team arrived on scene at about 8 a.m., Hergenreter said.

Once on scene, Fort Dodge firefighters worked to flare off the propane tank.

“We had to hook up a flare and burn off propane for about four hours to bring the pressure in the propane tank down to zero,” Hergenreter said. “We were able to replace the damaged valve.”

The HazMat team returned to Fort Dodge at 5 p.m.

Fort Dodge firefighters took part in a two-day PropaneIQ training course in November 2016 to prepare for these types of emergencies.

Firefighters were able to use a special kit to help with leak control and evacuation of propane vessels.

“If we didn’t have the specialized training and that equipment, the tank would have had to sit there and leak for a day or two and they would have had to keep that road closed,” Hergenreter said. “So it probably would have been a two-day incident if we weren’t able to go in there and offensively mitigate it.”



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