Firefighter Training, Firefighting, Health & Safety, Industrial Firefighting

Firefighter Recalls KS Grain Explosion

A Kansas firefighter recently reflected on the deadly October 2011 grain explosion in Atchison, Kansas. The explosion killed six workers and left two others hospitalized.

“You train for these things a lot, but until it actually happens, you just don’t really realize the magnitude of what it can be,” Atchison Fire Department Captain Lee Kipple said to a KQ2 TV reporter ( “Taking away the property damage, the loss of life is just incredible.”

The explosion was ruled an accident, but the Bartlett Grain Company, the site of the explosion, still received several safety violations from Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“The facility was considered very safe before, but they’ve even improved it by leaps and bounds. That’s an industry that is improving all the time because they have to,” said Kipple. “I think we’ve all learned something from it, and hope that it never happens again.”

Read more about the community’s reaction on the anniversary of the tragedy at