Two people were injured in a dust explosion that occurred in a grain loading area at the POET Biorefining ethanol plant in Cloverdale, IN last Friday, several local news organizations reported.
The plant’s general manager, Jamie Hernandez, told Indianapolis-based CBS News affiliate WTTV that the explosion occurred around 12:30 p.m. in the grain loading facility.
Two injured people, both truck drivers who were not employed with POET, were transported to an area hospital for treatment, according to coverage by the Greencastle Banner-Graphic. The newspaper said the drivers were unloading corn when the explosion happened.
“Our immediate concern is for the well-being of those injured, and we pray for their quick recovery. Safety at all POET facilities is our top priority. We will examine these circumstances closely and work to prevent similar incidents in the future,” Hernandez said in a statement published by television news station WTHR. “We are thankful for the response from emergency services to deal with the situation and for our team members who quickly implemented POET’s emergency action plan.”
Damages to the plant are estimated at $1 million, Cloverdale Fire Department Chief Kerry Shepherd said in the Banner-Graphic. The exact cause of the blast remains under investigation.
Acquired by POET in mid-2010, the firm’s ethanol plant in Cloverdale has a production capacity of 92 million gal/yr, information on the company’s website said. The facility was formerly owned by Altra Biofuels.