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Explosion Reported at Western Sugar Facility

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Crews were dispatched to the cooperative’s Scottsbluff, NE location after a turbine exploded and caught on fire.

Firefighters were sent to the Western Sugar Cooperative facility in Scottsbluff, NE Friday after an explosion occurred and a fire started, several local news organizations reported.

Responding to the site around 7 p.m., firefighters arrived on scene and learned that a turbine was involved in a blast that ignited an active fire, officials told news broadcaster KNEB.

The blaze was doused in about 20 minutes, Scottsbluff Rural Fire Assistant Chief Carissa Schank said in coverage by the Scottsbluff Star-Herald. No injuries were recorded during the incident.

Jerry Darnell, vice president of agriculture, south region for Western Sugar, offered a different version of events to KNEB: “We are sending a grower communication this (Saturday) morning explaining it was not an explosion, but a small fire that was extinguished quickly and that we will communicate more information when our damage assessment is complete.”

Schanck said in the station’s account that the location received “quite a bit of damage.”

Western Sugar is investigating the cause of the fire.

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