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Dust Explosion Severely Burns Worker at Port of Vancouver

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The combustible dust explosion and fire occurred Friday afternoon as two workers were cleaning a grain silo.

A dust explosion and fire occurred in a grain silo Friday afternoon at the Port of Vancouver in Vancouver, BC as two workers were working to clean the container, Canadian news outlets reported. One worker received severe burns during the incident.

Firefighters were dispatched to the Alliance Grain Terminal at about 3:45 p.m. and arrived on scene to find a worker with second-degree burns, CityNews 1130 reported.

“The engineers called it a dust explosion,” Vancouver Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Ken Gemmill told the news radio station.

Officials said an open hatch on the bottom of the silo caused the blast, according to coverage by CTVNews. Crews closed the hatch and other sources of air inside the silo before applying water inside the vessel.

“We opened [an] access [point to the silo] and we dumped three hose lines into it and just ran ‘em for almost 3.5 hours,” Gemmill said in an interview with the broadcaster.

The Alliance Grain Terminal at the Port of Vancouver features an annual capacity of 3 million mt, according to its owner, Paterson GlobalFoods. Grain is exported to locations in the Asia-Pacific market from the location.

A fire burned at a Viterra grain elevator at the Port of Vancouver for about 40 hours in January 2020.

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