The number of grain dust explosions in the United States fell to a 10-year low in 2016, but two of the incidents resulted in the first reported fatalities since 2013, according to a recent report by Purdue University. The report shows there were five grain dust explosions in 2016, compared to eight in 2015 and a 10-year average of 9.2 per year. Reported causes of ignition last year included sparks, possibly generated by static electricity or friction between machine parts, and overheated bearings, such as those on conveyor belts and elevators. One of the explosions occurred in a feed mill, two in grain mills and two in grain elevators. Grain dust was confirmed as the main source of fuel in three of the incidents, but could not be confirmed in two of the others. Two of the three fatalities in 2016 were from Indiana, and the third was from Georgia. Eight people were injured nationwide.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.