No injuries reported in ethanol plant explosion PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 June 2014 09:49

Fire trucks and other emergency responders arrive at Conestoga Energy’s Arkalon Ethanol Plant shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday after reports of an explosion in a natural gas burner on the plant’s feed dryer system. No one was injured in the incident, according to authorities. L&T photos/Chris Linenbroker

 

By LARRY PHILLIPS

• Leader & Times

 

Firefighters responded to an explosion Sunday evening at Conestoga Energy’s Arkalon Ethanol Plant. Fortunately, no one was injured from the blast or subsequent fire, according to Seward County Fire Chief Mike Rice.

“We got the page at 7:04 p.m. (Sunday) about a possible explosion at the plant at 8000 Road P,” Rice said earlier today. “Preliminary reports from plant staff is they had a natural gas explosion in a combustion burner in the feed dryer system on the second floor.”

Firefighters had contained the fire and left the scene at 3:18 a.m. today, but were called back out at 5:23 a.m.

“We’re, basically, on standby right now (9:27 a.m.) while plant staff cuts some holes in equipment so they can get to some smoldering insulation that’s around some of the piping and duct work in that area,” Rice said.

Though no injuries occurred in the incident, Rice said preliminary reports indicate significant damage was caused by the explosion.

“Early, early damages  – from reports of the plant’s staff – indicate damages could be in the $1- to $2-million range,” Rice said.

The exact cause of the explosion has yet to be determined, and Rice said further investigation is under way.

 
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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press.

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