Six feared dead in Kansas elevator explosion

October 31st, 2011 - 8:07 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Atchison, Kan., Oct 31 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Six people are feared dead after an elevator exploded on Sunday. The accident happened at a Bartlett Grain Co. facility in Atchison. Rescue efforts have been hampered by the unstable structure and the loose beams.

The rescue mission had to be halted on Sunday because of the dangers that the accident scene presented. Three bodies have already been removed from the debris and three others are unaccounted for and officials say they may be dead as well. Witnesses say the explosion sent a huge fireball into the air. Huge part of the structure’s roof was destroyed by the explosion.

Explosion is a danger in the grain industry. In the 1970s, series of explosions in grain elevators along the Gulf increased the awareness to the dangers that the industry present to workers.

The executive director of the Kansas Grain and Feed Association, Tom Tunnell, explained that, “If ever an industry is as well trained, it is ours. We understand dust is an explosive agent and our members work hard to control it.”

The dead workers have been identified as 24-year-old John Burke, 21-year-old Ryan Federinko and 20-year-old Chad Roberts.

The cause of the explosion is currently not known but officials of the company say they are assisting federal investigators to unravel the mystery.

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