3 Hurt in Explosion at Maine Agricultural Building

Maine explosion

Three people were hospitalized after an explosion at an agricultural building in Detroit, Maine on Wednesday afternoon, according to state police.

Authorities told WCSH-TV that the blast, which was originally reported as a sulfur explosion, happened at Northeast Agricultural Sales, on Route 100 near Hurd Corner. 

By about 4:15 p.m., the fire from the blast had been put out.

Anthony Towers, 62, of Newport, was taken by medical helicopter to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he is being treated for extensive burns.

Lee Gustin, 50, of Cambridge, and Clarence Rider, 36, of Pittsfield, were taken to Sabasticook Hospital in Pittsfield after complaining of respiratory issues. Their condition is not known.

All three are employed by Northeast Agricultural Sales, police said. 

Fire investigators said the explosion took place in an empty, 86-foot tall silo used to store sulfur. Towers and Rider were both on top of the silo working when a shovel that Towers was using to clean out accumulations of dust and sulfur sparked the explosion.

Towers' clothing caught fire and was extinguished by Rider before both men climbed down a ladder to the ground. 

Gustin was working on the ground and came to assist the two men after they climbed down.

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