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Dust explosion kills one, injures three at Belgian joinery plant

07 February 2019

On January 25, NWS reported that a dust explosion at the Pouleyn door and window manufacturing company in Anzegem, Belgium, had killed one person and seriously injured a further three. The victims were employees of a company contracted to clean out a silo containing wood shavings. Two of the injured have critical burn injuries.

Representative image - Shutterstock
Representative image - Shutterstock

According to NWS, after a small fire in the silo the previous day, a local cleaning company was tasked with clearing out the silo and the team reported the shavings inside were still warm.

When a hatch was opened at a height of about four metres, oxygen came into contact with the still warm wood shavings which caused an explosion and metre-high flash flame. Anzegem mayor Gino Devogelaere said the explosion blew the fatality off his access platform.

The fire service made a hole in the silo and extinguished the blaze. They said the smoke was not harmful and there was no danger for local residents.

According to the company website, Groep Pouleyn employs 90 people on the site. The Labour Department has started an investigation into the incident.

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