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Dust Explosion Reported at Nebraska Ethanol Plant

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The blast reportedly occurred in a 100-ft concrete bin at the POET facility in Fairmont, NE.

Firefighters were dispatched to the POET ethanol plant in Fairmont, NE Thursday morning after a dust explosion and fire were reported at the facility, according to coverage by the York News-Times.

The Fairmont Fire Department was first on scene and requested mutual aid from other area fire departments around 3 a.m. Crews worked to douse flames in a 100-ft concrete bin used to hold grain.

After arriving at the facility, York Fire Chief Tony Bestwick told the newspaper, “We then learned there had been a dust explosion inside this bin which caused the blast panels to be blown open.”

“Then the elevator leg to the north of the concrete bin also exploded,” the fire official said. Wooden beams supporting the concrete roof of the bin were ablaze when firefighters got to the site.

Fire personnel cleared the scene at about 9:30 a.m.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the ethanol plant is owned by Flint Hills Resources. POET acquired the Fairmont location from FHR in mid-2021. We apologize for this error.

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