An explosion in a grain elevator in South Sioux City, Nebraska hurt one person who was hospitalized with serious injuries. In addition, dozens of residents who lived near the area were evacuated, since crews needed to determine if the structure’s integrity was damaged. South Sioux City Mayor Rod Koch declared a disaster.
The explosion occurred just before 1:00 pm at the facility located at 2415 Fourth Street. The elevator is owned by Andersen Farms Inc.
The explosion caused a fire that was reportedly fed by gas. Thick smoke filled the sky around the area. Firefighters and gas company crews shut gas off so that the flames could be put out.
The person who was seriously injured was first taken to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, but was transported to a burn unit in a hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska after he was evaluated. The name of that person has not been released. News reports did state that the injuries were not life-threatening. Another person was slightly injured.
The evacuation of the area around the grain elevator is expected to last about 24 hours. FEMA dispatched Nebraska Task Force 1, an Urban Search & Rescue team that is part of the national disaster response system, to the area late Tuesday afternoon.
The explosion was so powerful that it shifted the concrete and it was bulging. Officials are concerned that the building may collapse.
Grain Elevator Explosions More Common Than Most People Think
Grain elevator explosions happen every year in the United States. These explosions happen because grain produces dust, also known as “finely divided solids,” that are combustible. One spark can cause a large and dangerous explosion.
Injuries that occur in these explosions can range from blast injuries to crush injuries to burn injuries. Workers in the elevator at the time of the explosion and fire can suffer brain injuries, embolisms, heart injuries, and eye injuries.
Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman are experienced explosion lawyers and have won millions for their clients over the years. Call them at 1-888-377-8900 for a free, no obligation, and confidential consultation about protecting your legal rights.
Branch, Blake. “Grain elevator explosion in South Sioux City sends one to hospital.” Ktiv.com, May 29, 2018.
Richardson, Ian. “1 hospitalized, several evacuated after grain elevator explosion in South Sioux City.” Sioux City Journal, May 29, 2018.