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February 17, 2014 |

Two Hurt in Derailment at CHS Grain Elevator in Lowder, IL

An estimated 100,000 bushels of corn was spilled from a loading boom

LOWDER - Ice and snow may have caused a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway train to derail early Feb. 13 at a grain elevator about 6 miles northwest of Virden, according to the Sangamon County Sheriff's Office.

The empty cars derailed on a rail spur on the property of the CHS grain elevator, 10955 North St. in Lowder, just after 2 a.m. Some of the employees present were working in an elevated control room at the time of the accident, and additional employees were in other areas of the elevator.

"All had to evacuate the area as the cars began to topple supports for the control room," a news release from the sheriff's office said.

Two employees suffered bruises and contusions and were treated at Memorial Medical Center. Both were injured as they descended a ladder from the elevated control room, Sangamon County Undersheriff Jack Campbell said.

"They were knocked off the ladder as the cars struck the supports for the control room," Campbell said.

An estimated 100,000 bushels of corn spilled from a loading boom onto the ground. Campbell estimated the value of the corn at about $400,000.

An elevator employee said he couldn't comment on how much of the corn might be recoverable.

While ice build-up on the tracks leading to the elevator is the suspected cause of the accident, a definitive cause hadn't been determined.

"The cause of the accident is not known at this time," said a statement released by CHS. "Our commitment is always to safety for our employees and all of our operations. An investigation is underway. No damage estimate is available. CHS will be working to address the damage and return the facility to full operation on behalf of its working customers as soon as possible."

CHS purchased the facility in 2010 from the Farmers Elevator Co. of Lowder.

Contact John Reynolds: 788-1524, john.reynolds@sj-r.com, twitter.com/JohnReynoldsSJR

Copyright 2014 The State Journal- RegisterAll Rights Reserved

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