No one was hurt last week when a combustible dust explosion damaged part of a grain elevator at Greenway Co-Op in Kasson, Minnesota. Greenway Co-Op has been providing agricultural products and services since 1930, including grain storage and custom grain drying.

The explosion occurred around 2pm on Thursday. Fire and police departments were on the scene for over an hour. While the cause is still being investigated, Kasson Fire Department Deputy Chief, Chris Seljan, explained that employees at Greenway were moving grain at the time of the explosion, when there was some sort of spark that caused the dust to explode and blew the top part of the elevator off. He speculates that there was a mechanical problem above the elevator.

According to Tim Clemens, General Manager of Greenway Co-Op, the explosion occurred at the top of an 80-foot “leg” that lifts corn to be loaded onto trucks and that the source of the heat might have been bearings in a moving part. He went on to say that the staff at the elevator had an emergency plan, “…they followed it well – they cut the power and got out of there.”

The Greenway Kasson operation was shut down for 24 hours to ensure that another dust explosion did not occur and reopened for business on Friday. Initial damage estimates are anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000.

The Post-Bulletin reported there was a huge grain-related fire that occurred in March 2007, when another Greenway facility located in Byron, Minnesota was destroyed.