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Powder & Bulk Solids Ranks the Top Silo Fail Videos

November 21, 2019
Powder & Bulk Solids created this list of the top silo failure videos. Image courtesy of Pixabay
Powder & Bulk Solids created this list of the top silo failure videos. Image courtesy of Pixabay

If you work with silos, a catastrophic structural failure is one of your worst nightmares. While many operators take steps to keep their silos in good shape, failures can occur for a variety of reasons including design flaws, poor construction or installation, or a lack of maintenance. The hazards of structural failures in silos are well known, but each year new footage emerges of dramatic silo collapses on news websites and social media. Powder & Bulk Solids editors compiled this list of the top silo failure to show our audience how destructive these incidents can be. 

1.) Corn Silo Collapses and Explodes at White Farms 
Jordan White on Facebook

In late July 2017, A farm in Switz City, IN experienced a dust explosion after a grain bin collapsed. Workers were unloading about 10,000 bushels of corn into a truck from a grain bin at William M. White Farms when the structure fell down, knocking down a power line that sparked grain dust and caused an explosion, reported the Green County Daily World. A video of the incident posted to Facebook by a member of the family that owns the farm quickly went viral.

2.) Catastrophic Failure in Grain Silo
Jenike & Johanson

Powder and bulk solids handling, processing, and storage technology consultant Jenike & Johanson shared this video of a catastrophic failure at a grain silo in 2013. The company said the owner of the silo did not pay attention to warning signs and continued to draw material down until the silo collapsed. 

3.) Grain Elevator Collapse in Hannaford, ND
Galchutt’s Finest on YouTube

Two grain bins collapsed at the Central Plains Ag Services grain elevator in North Dakota in 2015. A company official told NewsDakota.com that a bin holding about 580,000 bushels of spring wheat failed, causing the second bin to collapse. No injuries occurred in that incident. 

4.) Majuba Power Plant Coal Silo Collapse

In November 2014, a silo holding 10,000 tn of coal collapsed at the Eskom Majuba power plant near Amersfoort, South Africa, resulting in major power outages across the country, South African station News24 reported. The company later said the incident was caused by a “flaw in the design” of the silo. 

5.) Cement Silo Collapse
Maqbool Niazi on YouTube

This video posted in 2016 documents the dramatic collapse of a cement silo. The video’s title said the incident occurred at a Fauji Cement facility. In late May 2016, a silo holding 25,000 tn of material collapsed at a Fauji Cement plant in Tehsil Fateh Jang, Punjab, Pakistan, Global Cement reported at the time. The failure caused damage to a production line at the facility. 

6.) 1.6 Million BU Bin Collapse and Recovery Operation
Dennis Gregerson on YouTube

Gregerson Salvage Inc. responded to a facility where a bin holding 1.6 million BU of corn collapsed. While performing recovery work at the site, the company captured some jarring images of the failed bin and large volumes of corn that spilled out. While the footage doesn’t show the actual collapse, it does provide insight on the resources needed to handle the aftermath of large failures like this. 

7.) Corn Silo Failure and Collapse

Jenike & Johanson

A television news helicopter captured a silo collapse in this vintage footage. “People were stuffing rags into it, trying to plug the leaks up and some rivets popped and they all crawled down from it and started to scatter from it. And it wasn’t too much longer that the side just split, it just came open like a can,” an eyewitness told a reporter. The structural failure of the bin spilled $1 million worth of corn.

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