Around 11:50 am, a driver loading his lorry using the side drainage system on a silo storage cell noticed that pieces of concrete were falling into his trailer dumpster. He informed the warehouse attendant responsible for destocking and then quickly left the premises. A few moments later, a 3-tonne block crushed the lorry. In overturning the dryer, 300 tonnes of wheat spread onto the ground and were impeded by the common wall separating the cooperative formed by several private gardens. The site was placed in safety mode, entailing: an isolation perimeter around the installations, marking of cracks observed on the adjoining cell, shutoff of electricity supply, recovery of spilled cereals, and dryer stabilisation. A crisis response meeting was convened mid-afternoon at the town hall, attended by the local mayor, the facility operator, a concrete expert, fire-fighters, gendarme officers and representatives of the DRIRE Environmental Agency. At the end of discussions, the mayor issued a temporary evacuation order for the 6 neighbours closest to the site. The Inspection authorities for classified facilities suggested that the Prefect enact a series of emergency measures. All installations were ultimately destroyed in May 2003. The poor-quality, older structure (built in 1960), along with the post-construction addition of a side drain, caused this accident.

Download the detailed report in .pdf format (126 Kb)