A grain silo exploded in Brazil on Wednesday, at an agricultural co- operative in the south of Brazil killing about eight people and leaving a dozen injured. The blast is reported at C.Vale , co-operative in Palotina.
Eight people were killed and about a dozen have been left injured after an explosion at a grain silo, in Southern Brazil. C.Vale is the company where the blast has taken place. This storage unit lies in Palotina- south to Curitiba (State Capital). Palotina is home to about 35,000 people in Brazil. The state of Parana is one of the top agricultural states in the country.
The cause of the explosion has not been ascertained yet but the rescue operation is being carried out. It is also reported that one person is missing and the officials are trying to locate the worker. Manoel Vasco, an employee from the Fire Department said that dogs have been deployed to help them search the missing worker. It is speculated that they must be stranded under the debris and grains.
Seven out of the right people deceased are foreign nationals, Haitians primarily, as reported by a company official on Thursday. The silo where the explosion took place contained 12,000 metric tons of soybeans and 40,000 metric tons of corn. Almost 35 firefighters and a similar number of sniffer dogs have been deployed at the site to thoroughly investigate the site of the explosion and rescue workers.
The company has about 125 units across Brazil and Paraguay, with a similar explosion taking place at C.Vale in 1993 as well.
What Causes a Silo explosion?
The cause of the explosion is unclear yet but there is a basic understanding postulated by researchers to ascertain the cause of fires in grain storages. Dust particles from the grains are highly combustible and probably cause such explosions at storages due to the closely confined spaces.
The particles can range from anything like wheat, barley, and oats to other grains which have a hard covering. Statistically, the most combustible and volatile grain is corn starch. These grains have a higher tendency to form layers and become airborne at such tightly packed spaces.
The company stores 40,000 tons of corn in this storage, but it is currently difficult to understand the exact cause of the explosion. Experts claim that for a grain dust blast, four essential rudiments are needed : fuel, oxygen, confinement and a source of combustion.
It has also been confirmed by Tiago Zajac, an official from the fire department, that the explosion happened in only one of the silos, while the fire spread quickly to tow-three silos more, causing a high amount of damage.
A Video surfaced online on social media platforms that showed a huge pillar of white thick smoke coming out from the main site and many residents reported that several window panes had blown out.Tremors were also felt in the neighbouring places.
Brazilian Agricultural minister, Carlos Favaro wrote on X,(formerly twitter) expressing his condolences and concerns to the victims and their families. The acting Governor- Darci Piana, also headed to Palotina with several State Secretaries to witness the smooth rescue operation. He also said that the government will offer all support to the victims and the families who have lost a member.