Two Volunteer Fire Fighters Die After an Explosion While Attempting to Extinguish a Fire in a Coal Storage Silo

Report Date: September 2012

In 2011 in South Dakota, two firefighters lost their lives and a third was seriously injured while attempting to extinguish a fire in a coal storage silo. The firefighters were attempting to extinguish the fire by applying water through an access hatch when an explosion occurred, taking the lives of the two firefighters and destroying the silo. These investigations should be used to learn from tragedy in an effort to avoid similar losses in the future.

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  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

    Each year an average of 100 firefighters in the United States die in the line of duty. To address this continuing national occupational fatality problem, NIOSH conducts independent investigations of firefighter line of duty deaths. This web page provides access to NIOSH investigation reports and other fire fighter safety resources.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Two Volunteer Fire Fighters Die After an Explosion While Attempting to Extinguish a Fire in a Coal Storage Silo – South Dakota. Morgantown, WV: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH Report # F2011-22, 2012. Print.

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