A fire broke out at the bottom of a working dryer containing 15 tonnes of sunflower seeds. The dryer is located on the ground-floor level of the headhouse of a concrete flat-bottom silo. The silo had 11 open storage bins (8800 m³) and two 150-tonne hoppers for supplying the dryer. The fire was discovered during a round at around 8:00 a.m. Smoke could be seen coming out of the silo’s ground-floor level. The site manager closed the LPG valve supplying the burner, cut off the site’s power supply (cutting off the dryer’s fan in the process), and alerted the public firefighters. Forty firefighters brought the fire under control with water nozzles and by emptying the grain column. After using a thermographic camera to check for remaining hot spots, they left at around 12:00 p.m. The firefighters conducted a final round at around 4:30 p.m. No injuries were reported, but the 750 kW dryer, which dated back to 1970, was unusable. The cost of the 15 tonnes of sunflower seeds lost is estimated at €4500. The fire may have been started by overdried impurities in the grain column.
On 15 October, the inspection authorities for classified facilities went to the site and found that the dryer had not been continuously monitored by qualified personnel on the site and that it had not been fitted with air-temperature sensors and the associated alarms. In addition, seeds were not cleaned before being dried. They also found irregularities regarding the silo and the storage of fertilizer on the site. The inspection report suggested that the prefect issue a formal notification and an emergency shutdown and that resumption of operation of the dryer be contingent upon a new declaration of compliance.