Five injured in explosion at northwest Iowa plant

(Radio Iowa) – Investigators are looking into the cause of a weekend electrical explosion at a factory in northwest Iowa that left five men injured. Lieutenant Seth Hoffman, of the Osceola County sheriff’s office, says the blast happened at midday Saturday at Timewell Tile in the town of Sibley.

Hoffman says, “Apparently, some neighbors were outside and saw what was going on and they started calling 911 first and then some employees at Timewell called.” He says an electrical transformer evidently exploded.

“There was five guys inside the plant standing next to it when it went,” he says. “They were employees of Timewell and of Current Electric, two employees of Timewell and three of Current Electric, and then the city of Sibley had two guys out there but they were outside the plant and they weren’t injured.”

Hoffman says the injuries were mostly electrical burns. “We had five guys that received varying degrees of burns,” he says. “Some guys had just a few burns on their arms. They were pretty severe burns but not as bad as some other guys who had it pretty much all over their bodies. The accident happened, we think, as they were transferring old power lines to a newer transformer and the explosion occurred.”

Hoffman says all five of the injured were transported, by ambulance, to the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley. Two were later airlifted to Avera in Sioux Falls, two others were taken to Sioux Falls by ambulance, and one was treated and released.