An explosion late this (Monday) morning rocked the farmers co-op grain elevator in the town of Woolstock in central Iowa. Program Director Eli Savoie from radio station KQWC went to Woolstock, a town of fewer than 300 people a few miles north of Webster City. He says the elevator’s unstable and there’s fear of material coming off the top of the building. Savoie says three people were taken to hospitals. Emergency-response workers were quick to cordon off parts of the town. Savoie says there’s a two-block perimeter to keep people away from toppling debris and material that exploded at the top of the elevator. He says the big fear was remaining material in a big metal-and-concrete structure at the top that was unstable. Wright County Sheriff Paul Schultz thinks it was a grain-dust explosion.The elevator was loading grain cars, and he says with three people known injured so far, authorities are keeping people away in case of a secondary explosion. Woolstock Fire Chief Bruce Rholl was nearby when it happened.He came walking out of Woolstock’s telephone office and says he heard “a big boom,” saw a fireball go up the main part of the elevator, then saw chunks of cement and pipes flying, and knew he’d have to go get one of the fire trucks. Rholl says a couple of the volunteer firefighters joined him and went to the scene of the blast. When they got there they found two people were injured — one trapped under debris, which they cleared away, and one was burned and they tried to “cool him down” ’til the ambulance company came.
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