Two people were severely burned in a propane explosion Friday on a farm in the southeast area of Plymouth County.
Hanna Monson lives at the residence. “About 7:15 I heard a giant explosion and the house shook and I stepped outside and a few minutes later there was smoke and fire,” Monson says. She wasn’t sure exactly what had happened.
“The whole house shook and the property shook and I thought it was thunder at first — but it wasn’t,” Monson says. One hog barn was flattened by the propane explosion and others were destroyed by the fire. One employee of the hog operation was airlifted by Mercy Air Care helicopter and taken to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, the other was transported to Mercy via the Remsen Ambulance.
The Remsen, Kingsley, and Pierson Fire Departments all responded to the explosion. Kingsley Fire Chief Paul Huth says work crews were cleaning the barn on Thursday, which may have been a factor in the explosion.
He says one of the propane lines was power washed and that knocked rust off and that led to a leak that filled the room with propane. The workers opened the door, setting off the explosion. Huth says the two men were critically injured.
“One was burned and also had a possible head injury. The other one had compression from the explosion — his midsection,” Hut says. There were no hogs in the building that exploded, but there were some pigs in the other buildings. The names of the injured employees have not yet been released.
(Photos and story by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)