WICHITA (FoxKansas.com) -- Federal investigators have launched a probe into the blast at a grain elevator in which six people were killed but authorities say the review could take several months.
Funerals for the victims have begun as mourners prepared to pay their final respects to those killed in the Saturday night explosion, including: John Burke, 24, Curtis Field, 21, Ryan Frederinko, 21, Chad Roberts, 20, Travis Keil, 34, and Darrek Klahr, 43.
The incident occurred Saturday, Oct. 29 as the workers were loading rail cars with grain at a facility in Atchison, which is about 50 miles northwest of Kansas City. The elevator is owned by Bartlett Grain Co., and the blast was said to have been felt several miles away from the site.
Officials from the Kansas State Fire Marshal have launched a probe into the incident as well as investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) who are also reviewing the blast. A spokesman for OSHA told Reuters that the federal review could take up to six months.
Grain elevators can be hazardous because they hold a large quantity of dust, which can ignite under the right conditions. It has been speculated that the dust in the elevator was ignited by a spark from the nearby train cars.