Pet Food Plant Blast Hurts 4

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 @ 06:09 PM gHale


Four contractors welding in a grain elevator suffered burns Sunday in an explosion at an Arizona pet food factory, a fire officials said.

The workers were welding in a grain elevator at the Nestle Purina plant in Flagstaff at around 4:30 p.m. when grain dust caught fire and sparked an explosion, said Flagstaff Fire Department Captain Bill Morse.

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One worker ended up airlifted with life-threatening burns to a local burn center and another went via ambulance suffering from serious burns, Morse said.

One of the other workers went to a nearby hospital with moderate burns, while the last contractor ended up treated at the same hospital and released, Morse said.

“As soon as they lit that welding torch, that was just enough to light up some of that dust,” he said.

No one else suffered any type of injury from the blast and there was no fire, although the blast was strong enough to blow open a steel door at the bottom of the elevator, Morse said.

The grain handling industry is “high hazard,” due partly to the risk of fires and explosions from the accumulation of combustible grain dust, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website.



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