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Explosion at Benson ethanol plant under investigation, no one hurt

BENSON -- A Tuesday morning explosion and fire at the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company plant, just west of Benson, is under investigation, according to Swift County Sheriff Scott Mattison.

According to a news release from the sheriff, emergency responders were called to the plant by a 911 call around 10:09 a.m. Upon arrival, responders were directed to a 90-foot char-ash silo which appeared to have blown its top and sustained extensive damage. There was no fire detected and there were no injuries.

Traffic was redirected during the emergency and normal operations elsewhere at the CVEC facility resumed soon afterward. Emergency responders left the plant at 11:16 a.m.

According to a press release from CVEC, plant staff members are using forensic analysis to determine the cause of the explosion. Operation of this system will be suspended until staff members understand the cause of the event and implement design upgrades to prevent any re-occurrence.