Cause of deadly plant explosion considered accidental, State Fire Marshal’s Office says

The explosion happened during "routine maintenance and repairs."
Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 1:09 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 18, 2023 at 2:21 PM CDT
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WOOD RIVER, Neb. (KSNB) - The State Fire Marshal’s Office released a new details regarding the explosion at Green Plains ethanol plant in Wood River.

The agency said the cause of the explosion is considered accidental, as a result of work being conducted in a liquid holding tank.

Around 2:39 p.m. Monday, Wood River Fire & Rescue responded to a report of an explosion with injuries at the facility. Once on scene, firefighters located a liquid holding tank that had been involved in an explosion, though no fire was present.

One employee died at the facility while another employee was transferred to an Omaha hospital and remains in critical condition. Three on-site contractors were also taken to the hospital, where they have been treated for minor injuries and released.

The Hall County Attorney has ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death of the deceased. The victim’s identity is being withheld pending identification and notification of next of kin.

A Green Plains spokesperson said Monday night that a person was fatally injured “during routine maintenance and repairs of on a whole stillage tank.”

The spokesperson said the plant was not operational at the time of the explosion.

This is the same facility where a fire started on Friday in a grain leg, the loading elevator that transports grain to the bin. The State Fire Marshal’s Office said the explosion is not related to this fire.