(Clinton, KY - Saturday, January 19, 2013) - One week ago today, a 100 foot high silo belonging to Burgess Brothers suddenly burst spilling a literal mountain of corn. Crews quickly cleared corn from Highway 51, reopening the major north south connector in Hickman County. Over one half million bushels of corn poure of the tangled remains of the storage bin.
The rumble of the bursting silo sounded to one neighboring business woman, Janet Hall of Church Art Glass, "like a bomb going off."
While there were no direct injuries, co-owner Ricky Burgess, who was sitting in the cab of a semi truck when the accident happened, suffered a heart attack when the spill rolled the cab and split the trailer into a twisted mass of steel. When Burgess went to the hospital, doctors found he had four blockages in his heart. He underwent surgery at Western Baptist Hospital on Monday to clear the blocked arteries. Burgess was back on the site overseeing clean up within days of the accident.
During daylight hours, salvage operations continue. Corn is vacuumed up into grain trucks and transported away. It is estimated the salvage operation could take two to three weeks to finish. Forty trucks a day are being filled by a salvage crew hailing from Iowa, a state well versed in all things corn. Filling each truck takes up to thirty minutes. Trucks are being filled two at a time.
Onlookers at the site said that a slowdown may come when the real wreakage of the silo is reached. Corn must be sorted from the metal remains.
Theories abound on why the newest grain bin, barely two years old, collapsed. Weather was first thought to be the cause as torrential rains closed roads throughout the area last weekend. But an emergency responder told the Hickman County Gazette that the three inches of rain that fell Friday and Saturday was not the cause of the accident.