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2020 grain dust explosions result in zero fatalities

By Times Staff

WEST LAFAYETTE — Kingsly Ambrose, Purdue University associate
professor of agricultural and biological engineering, recently
released the 2020 annual grain dust explosions report that catalogues
the number of deaths and injuries nationwide.

Grain dust is a highly combustible substance and often airborne in
handling and processing facilities. Explosions occur when there is a
source of ignition, often from small, unintentional sparks within the

According to the report, there were eight-grain dust explosions in
2020, resulting in zero fatalities and nine injuries. The 10-year
average for injuries is 8.1; it is 1.7 for fatalities. The grain types
identified in the explosions included two cases of corn, two wheat,
two mixed feed, one rice and one dietary fiber. Dust explosions
occurred in eight different
states, one each in Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Nebraska,
Missouri and Arkansas. Four of these explosions occurred in a grain
elevator, and the remaining four in a feed mill, corn mill, rice mill
and grain processor for dietary fiber.

Ambrose explained the importance of compiling these reports each year.

“Most companies use this information for training their employees,” Ambrose
said. “Regulatory authorities also use incident reports for their training
purposes. It helps with creating or spreading awareness on dust explosions
and their causes.”

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