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South Sioux City grain elevator explosion

Police and firefighters respond to the May 29 explosion of the Andersen Farms grain elevator in South Sioux City. Emergency personnel leaders said many lessons were learned in the response to the blast and the ensuing two weeks spent monitoring the structure before it was pulled down.

Memorable as the May 29 explosion of the Andersen Farms grain elevator was, it was definitely not unique in the history of grain elevators. They happen every year, although with decreasing frequency, due to the highly combustible nature of grain dust. 

According to OSHA, the number of grain elevators that explode in the U.S. has gone down considerably since the 1970s -- as recently as 1980 there were 45 grain elevator explosions nationwide, while in 2011 there were only three. 

The following is a list of the number of grain elevator explosions in the U.S., according to OSHA. 

Year 

Explosions 

Injuries 

Fatalities 

 1976

 22

 82

 22

 1977

 21

 84

 65

 1978

 19

 47

 7

 1979

 19

 18

1980 

45 

50 

10 

1981 

21 

62 

13 

1982 

14 

35 

11 

1983 

13 

14 

1984 

20 

29 

1985 

23 

20 

1986 

 23

 4

2

1987 

16

18 

1988 

12

10 

 8

1989 

13

1990 

15 

1991 

12

1992 

 6

1993 

 12

 11

 2

1994 

15 

14 

1995 

14 

12 

1996 

13 

19 

1997 

14 

1998 

18 

21 

1999 

11 

15 

2000 

19 

2001 

 8

 7

 1

2002 

8

 1

2003 

 2

2004 

3

 0

2005 

10 

3

 1

2006 

 11

 1

2007 

 6

 0

2008 

 1

 0

2009 

14 

 4

 0

 2010

 12

 8

 0

 2011

 3

 1

 7

 TOTALS
Since 1976

 503

 677

 184

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