Oxendine talks dust dangers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Oxendine talks dust dangers

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By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

August 29, 2008

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - 14 people died as a result of the February Imperial Sugar Refinery explosion in Savannah.

Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine says combustible dust was to blame for the greatest loss of life in Georgia's recent history.

Now he wants to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Friday, he looked to the agriculture industry to fix any potential dangers there might be.

"We are going and looking at different industries and seeing, is there a possibility of a disaster like Imperial Sugar happening somewhere else and one area we are looking into is agriculture," Oxendine says.

"We are making several stops today to look at the different exposures of agriculture and hopefully be able to show the commissioner we are doing some outstanding things in agriculture that we already mitigating these risks," adds Gary Black, the President of the Georgia Agribusiness Council.

Combustible dust can be found in silos, as was the case in Savannah.

Dust becomes combustible if it's too dry and builds up a static charge.

The result is like a bomb.