Evac at Biodiesel Plant after Blast

Monday, August 31, 2015 @ 05:08 PM gHale

A facility that processes soybeans into biodiesel, the Missouri Better Bean plant, is a “total loss” after an explosion and fire at the Bunceton, MO, building Saturday morning, officials said.

Because of the contents of the building, officials contacted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make sure the surrounding area is safe. Preliminary tests showed any level of chemicals in the runoff are not considered flammable, said Cooper County Fire Chief David Gehm.

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The Cooper County Sheriff’s Office confirmed crews fought the fire at the Missouri Better Bean plant in Bunceton Saturday morning. The plant evacuated after a late-morning explosion.

The Cooper County EMA said the plant and the area within a half-mile surrounding the plant ended up evacuated.

The Cooper County Sheriff’s Office said it received reports of a fire at Missouri Better Bean Plant around 11 a.m. Deputies said a series of small explosions engulfed the plant in flames. The plant processes soybeans into biodiesel.

Ryan Reuter, a division chief with the Cooper County Fire Protection District, said he was not aware of anyone being in the plant at the time of the explosion. Reuter said two firefighters ended up treated for heat exhaustion, no firefighter injuries.