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Elevator bins collapse


OAKLEY -- As Oakley residents awaited the arrival of insurance adjusters and engineers at the site of a Frontier Ag elevator that split open Tuesday afternoon, streets were blocked to keep onlookers from venturing too close to the spill.

"We'll begin that clean up once the engineers deem the area safe to get back into," said Ben Brandvik, grain marketing manager with Frontier Ag. "For right now, we're just waiting on the proper people and experts to arrive before we proceed from here."

No injuries were reported as a result of the incident, which occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. and affected the southeast corner of two cement grain storage units that were part of the elevator's annex.

Logan County Sheriff Pat Parsons said personnel would continue to work to ensure no injuries would occur.

"We will be on the scene through the night until teams can assess the structural damage so no one gets hurt," Parsons said.

Brandvik said representatives of Union Pacific Railroad had arrived onsite and, when given the go-ahead to proceed, would start switching out railroad cars that were overturned when grain spilled onto the railroad tracks.

"Those rail cars that were overturned were empty," Brandvik said. "No spills of any sort, other than the grain that came out (of the elevator).

"That was very fortunate."

No cause had been determined as to why the bins failed, according to Brandvik.

Although the day had been a trying one for Frontier Ag employees, Brandvik took a philosophical view of the incident Tuesday evening.

"It could have been much worse," he said. "We're looking at it as an inconvenience right now, and we'll deal with it and get it cleaned up and go on down the road."