Business owners shocked by explosion - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Business owners shocked by explosion

Building under renovation has boarded up windows after many first floor windows shattered. (Source: WALB) Building under renovation has boarded up windows after many first floor windows shattered. (Source: WALB)
View from Ashley Street of South Georgia Pecan Company's silo (Source: WALB) View from Ashley Street of South Georgia Pecan Company's silo (Source: WALB)
Rob Jones, Superintendent on job site (Source: WALB) Rob Jones, Superintendent on job site (Source: WALB)
Royce Coleman, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones (Source: WALB) Royce Coleman, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones (Source: WALB)
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Valdosta downtown store owners are picking up the pieces after an explosion in a 100-foot tall silo at South Georgia Pecan Company.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday, people along Ashley Street in downtown Valdosta were startled to hear a loud boom, that shook most of the town.

No one was injured in the explosion. Valdosta Fire Department officials are still working to determine what caused the shocking explosion.

"It was a loud boom," said Rob Jones, job site superintendent.

Jones said on Ashley Street, a vacant building that's undergoing renovations, had many windows shatter. 

"A lot of them were coming out anyway so I don't think there will be a lot of costs affiliated with it," explained Jones.

At the soon-to-be law firm, Jones said nearly all of the first-floor windows were blown out, but no construction workers or people walking by were injured. And although the windows are now boarded up the project could be also be sped up. 

"It could possibly be to the advantage," said Jones.

A little further from South Georgia Pecan Company, the Edward Jones building was also impacted.

The door to the building blew open due to the percussion sound stemming from South Georgia Pecan Company. 

"I didn't know what was going on. People started coming out on the street to see what was happening and it was unnerving," said Royce Coleman, a financial advisor with Edward Jones.

Coleman said he was talking to a client on the phone when he heard the loud boom.

"I hadn't experienced anything like it before. It sounded like a sonic boom, but obviously the percussion from it, I'm assuming it was an explosion," said Coleman. "But it just sucked the front door open and papers flew off the desk and it was scary. Didn't know what to think." 

He said his receptionist's window that opens into his office also dropped to the ground. Thankfully, it didn't break and no one was injured. 

Both Coleman and Jones are thankful that there were no injuries at their locations or at South Georgia Pecan Company have been reported. 

"I hope everybody down there is ok. I know it's very scary. It sounded like a tragic event. Hopefully nobody there on site was injured," said Coleman.

The Valdosta Daily Times reported the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has reported more than 500 silo explosions in the U.S. since 1976. Dust collecting in agricultural silos can be highly combustible.

Copyright 2018 WALB. All rights reserved.

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