September 25, 2018
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Three workers hurt in silo explosion in central Maine

By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

Three employees at an agricultural supplies firm were injured in Wednesday’s explosion inside an empty 86-foot sulfur storage silo.

Anthony Towers, 62, of Newport, is being treated for serious burns at Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland. Lee Gustin, 50, of Cambridge and Clarence Rider, 36, of Pittsfield were taken to Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield after complaining of breathing problems.

The three men work at Northeast Agricultural Sales, which deals in seeds, fertilizer and turf at a facility based on Route 100, also known as Oxbow Road.

Towers and Rider were on top of the silo when the explosion happened around 1 p.m. Towers was using a shovel to clean dust and residual sulfur off the tank, causing the spark that ignited the explosion, according to fire investigators.

The blast caught Towers’ clothing on fire, causing more severe burns. Rider put out the flames before helping Towers climb down the silo. Gustin, who was working on the ground, ran to help both men after they climbed down.

A LifeFlight helicopter took Towers to Maine Medical Center. The other two men were taken by ambulance to the Pittsfield hospital.

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