A dust explosion at the OK Foods feed mill in Heavener, Oklahoma, caused a fire on the evening of March 23 that left three contract workers hospitalized.
Trent Goins, CEO of OK Foods, said in a news release that contract work was being performed on a feed bin when the accident occurred, according to a report in the Times-Record. The feed mill remained in operation.
“Worker safety is paramount to OK Foods and we will continue to investigate this isolated incident, which did not impact the operation of the feed mill,” Goins said in the emailed statement.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), when dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, under certain conditions, it can become explosive. “Even materials that do not burn in larger pieces, such as aluminum or iron, given the proper conditions, can be explosible in dust form,” the OSHA material states.
Two people were severely burned, with a third person being transported for hospital treatment with minor injuries, according to the LeFlore County EMS.
LeFlore County EMS treated the two people with critical injuries before helicopters airlifted them to a burn center in Tulsa, where they were listed in critical condition.
OK Foods, a U.S. based poultry company, is a subsidiary of Mexican company Bachoco.