The concrete wall of one of the vertical storage bins cracked throughout its length of 25 m in the silo of an agricultural cooperative built in 1963 during the first out of the three construction lots of the facility. About 100 tonnes of maize spilled over and destroyed a wall allowing access to the control facilities at ground level, below the drain cones that form the foot of the bins. The site was immediately secured, a safety perimeter was set up, delivery from farmers was stopped, the 12 bins built during the 1st lot were gradually emptied and the power and gas supply to the dryer was cut off. The inspection authorities of classified facilities recommended the prefect to issue of an emergency site shutdown order that was signed and dated 31 October 2002 requiring an expert evaluation of the facilities. While waiting for the findings of the expert evaluation commissioned, the operator decided to stop operating the bins of the 1st and 3rd lot built in 1982 and suspended the operation of bins built in as part of the 2nd lot. Poor ageing of the reinforced concrete along with the corrosion of the reinforced steel is the reason behind the accident.

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