October 30, 2011 by staff
Witnesses said the boom resulted in a huge fireball shot as high of Bartlett Grain Company could be seen through the state border in Missouri. The blast also hit homes and businesses miles of the facility.
Rescuers were seen digging through the rubble on Sunday and officials said that additional heavy equipment brought in.
The cause of the explosion was not clear, but the explosions can occur if grain dust becomes airborne and becomes volatile in the temperature and humidity.
“It sounded like something hit my house with a diesel truck,” said Brent Billings, a resident of the town of 11,000 Atchison Globe. “He shook four or five pictures on the wall. I saw a pressure wave, almost like a bomb.”
Bill Fellows, president of Bartlett Grain, said in a statement that 11 employees were loading a train with corn when the explosion occurred around 19:00 He said while many of those workers were able to escape from there were killed and some injured .
Two men were taken by air to the University of Kansas Hospital and is in critical condition, but it was clear the two were among the dead.
According to the Atchison Globe, at least here the workers were treated for injuries at the scene.
The names of the dead have not been released because not all family members have been notified, officials said.
“Hopefully we can explain to everyone and meet everyone,” Trey C**king, the city manager, the newspaper said.
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