116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
No one injured in grain elevator explosion at ADM’s Cedar Rapids plant
After explosion Thursday night, crews fighting smoldering fire Friday
CEDAR RAPIDS — After almost 20 hours, the Cedar Rapids Fire Department concluded firefighting operations at the Cedar Rapids Archer Daniels Midland plant Friday afternoon.
According to a news release from the fire department, first responders were called to the plant on 60th Avenue SW around 7 p.m. Thursday for an explosion on top of corn processing and storage elevators. At 2:40 p.m. Friday, the fire department announced it had finished fighting the fires and was in the process of clearing the scene.
All ADM employees were safely out of the hazard area when firefighters arrived Thursday evening. ADM personnel told the first responders there had been an explosion, possibly involving grain and equipment in the elevators.
Fire department crews and Linn County Sheriff’s Office personnel used drones to check the top of the elevators, which had damage to conveyor equipment. Firefighters then examined the area around the silos and found damaged equipment and smoldering fire within the elevators, the news release states.
Fire crews and ADM personnel determined it was “unsafe to place personnel in firefighting positions” at the time, according to a news release.
The crews instead worked overnight to locate all fires and other dangers left by the explosion, using specialty equipment to locate heat sources. Around 10 a.m. Friday, fire crews began to actively engage with the fire.
By 1:30 p.m., firefighters and ADM personnel had applied water into the affected grain bin and reduced the internal temperature to a point where attempting to access the burning area was possible.
The fire department finished firefighting by 2:40 p.m. ADM personnel will continue the cleanup work and evaluating the damage to determine next steps, a release said.
Cedar Rapids fire crews were in constant communication with ADM technicians while fighting the fire to evaluate the situation and ensure safety of firefighters and employees, according to the news release.
The explosion appears to have caused damage to some conveying equipment at the top of the elevator, but there isn’t any structural damage to the concrete silos, according to a statement from ADM spokesperson Jackie Anderson.
ADM has temporarily shut down corn transfer to the Cedar Rapids facility, but other operations at the plant have been able to safely continue, according to Anderson.
“We appreciate the support of the local fire department as they help ensure the resulting smolder in completely extinguished and under control,” Anderson said in the statement.
The cause of the explosion still is under investigation, according to the fire department and ADM.
Comments: (319) 398-8328; email@example.com