Operations at the Badger State Ethanol plant in Monroe, WI were halted on Tuesday after an early morning explosion in a corn storage silo, local news organizations reported.
“There had been an explosion in one of the silos at the plant,” Monroe Fire Department Chief Dan Smits told NBC News affiliate WMTV, “The damage was well confined to that silo. There was no ensuing fire, but there was some heat that we had to deal with in the product.”
Eight staff members were at the plant when the explosion occurred at about 6 a.m. The concrete silo was holding about 40% of its total storage capacity of 2200 tn, officials said in reports.
A company official said in coverage by the Monroe Times that Badger State Ethanol takes a proactive stance on plant safety issues and that the company will work to prevent similar incidents in the future.
“We are continually evolving to find if there’s anything else that we can be doing. Obviously, we’ll do a lot of self-evaluation on what else we can do to make sure this never happens again,” Erik Huschitt, plant director at Badger State Ethanol, told the newspaper. “We know there’s one thing that’s important at the end of the day, and that’s that nobody gets hurt.”
Monroe Fire told local media that operations at the plant were paused out of caution. No injuries were reported during the incident.
The cause of the blast remains under investigation.