Dust Explosion Destroys New Jersey Flour Mill

Issue 2 and Volume 138.

Dust Explosion Destroys New Jersey Flour Mill SPECIAL RISK FIRES The first known incident of a dust explosion occurred in 1785 in a Turin, Italy, flour mill. Today, according to a report in DUST EXPLOSIONS by Peter Field (Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company, Amsterdam-Oxford-New York), there are an average of 40 dust explosions and one resulting fatality each year. When compared to other combustible dusts, wheat flour explosions are considered strong, capable of attaining a maximum overpressure of 97 psig. The maximum rate of pressure rise is about 2,800 psi per second. On November 18, 1984, an early morning dust explosion at the Bay State Milling Company’s flour mill in Clifton, NJ, claimed the life of one employee and seriously injured three others. It took more than 40 firefighters to bring the incident under control. Flour had been produced at this milling site since World War I. Over the years, the…

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