GRAIN SHIPMENTS PUT ON HOLD AT CONTINENTAL ELEVATOR

GRAIN SHIPMENTS PUT ON HOLD AT CONTINENTAL ELEVATOR

Grain shipments from a Continental Grain Co. elevator here remained on hold early this week, while officials studied the extent of the damage caused by an explosion in the elevator last Saturday.

The three "dust explosions" apparently were caused by some type of mechanical ignition such as friction from conveyor belts or a spark from metal striking metal in the nine-story elevator. They lasted only a few seconds but blew roof panels off a conveyor-belt building, broke some windows, caused a floor to collapse and set off a fireball. There were 17 people working in the area when the blast occurred, but no one was injured.The elevator is one of eight export grain facilities Continental operates and can hold up to 3 million bushels of grain, which is transported from Midwest and Northwest farms for shipment overseas.