US: Major corn spill as Bunge facility grain bin collapses

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Nordroden
© GettyImages/Nordroden

Related tags Bunge Corn grain bin explosion

Industry experts are attempting to understand what caused the collapse of a grain bin Monday that dumped about 850,000 bushels of corn.

The break-up of the Bunge North America grain storage bin released thousands of bushels or about 21,591 tons, of corn onto a road and rail line Monday morning [March 11], the company told us. No one was injured in the incident, which happened at a facility in LaGrange, Missouri.

Emergency crews responded to the company’s grain elevator facility early morning, as reported by WGEM. The storage bin had been filled by company staff the day before the incident and crews were working on one side of the structure when it split in half.

The cleanup process could take weeks – as the metal remains of the bin have to be removed in addition to the grain according to WGEM. A section of road next to the facility also has been closed. 

Crews are in the process of cleaning up the spilled corn and rail line access has been restored, the Bunge spokesperson said.

However, efforts to remove the grain from the road and the rest of the site are ongoing, the company said. The cleanup process is anticipated to take some time.

Experts have been brought in to investigate the reason for the collapse, the company said.  

Other feed, grain industry incidents

Bunge is not the only grain and feed trading and storage company to see facility challenges this year.

In February, firefighters responded to a fire at a Skretting US feed production facility in Tooele, Utah, as first reported by Local KUTV. Reportedly, a grinder at the facility had started to smoke earlier in the day and it is thought to be what started the fire.

However, an investigation to determine the exact cause remains ongoing. No one was injured during the incident and the fire was able to be contained and extinguished before spreading to the rest of the facility.

The site is Skretting’s headquarters in the US and generates feed for several aquaculture species including trout, catfish and koi, according to company information.

In January, there was an explosion in a grain silo at an Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) loading and storage facility in Clinton​, Iowa.

Employees initially called the fire department to report “smoldering material” ​in a storage bin on site, the company told us at the time. An explosion occurred on site a few hours later.

Firefighter Eric Hosette, 33, was identified as the emergency responder killed during the explosion. A second firefighter, Adam Cain, also was injured in the incident.

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