Raymond, NE Propane Explosion, Nov 1982
PROPANE LEAK CAUSED BLAST.
Raymond, Neb. (UPI) -- A propane leak was to blame for an explosion that killed four people at the Raymond Co-Op Elevator, State Fire Marshal Wally Barnett said Wednesday.
Barnett said a 1 1/4-inch plastic pipe buried near the elevator and feeding a grain dryer next to it developed a leak.
"The ground was saturated from the propane, from one end to the other," he said. He said propane seeped into the basement of the elevator and apparently was ignited by a fuel oil heating stove beneath the office.
The explosion Tuesday blew the roof off the wooden feed-mixing elevator, smashing the business office next door and engulfing both structures in fire. Four people were killed and three were critically injured.
The bodies of JO KING, 42, the company bookkeeper, and DIANNE KISSINGER, 24, who had gone to the elevator with her husband, were pulled from the rubble Tuesday. The bodies of DON ELENGA, an elevator employe, and EARL NELSON, a customer who was buying gloves, were found early Wednesday in the water-soaked debris.
MRS. KISSINGER'S husband, FRANK, 30; MRS. KING'S husband, Frank, 47, also an elevator employee; and DICK KRONE, 35, the elevator manager, fled the elevator following the blast, their clothes in flames. All were hospitalized in critical condition.
The explosion stunned residents in the farming community of 181 people a dozen miles northwest of Lincoln.
Postmaster Janice Kirchoff said she was working across the street when she saw the three men run out of the elevator with their clothes on fire.
Hutchinson News Kansas 1982-11-18