Flash Fire at Waldenburg Riceland Plant

WALDENBURG, AR (KAIT) - An update into the Region 8 News room, as more details about an explosion at the Riceland Foods plant located in Waldenburg are being released.

According to Bill Reed, VP of Corporate Communications for Riceland Foods confirmed that a flash fire did occur early Tuesday morning, injuring one worker.

The worker, 30-year-old Henry Gale Brown of Jonesboro, suffered 1st & 2nd degree burns to his face and arms and had to be air-lifted to the Med in Memphis. According to Reed, Brown is expected to be released in a few days.

According to the Weiner Fire Chief, a call came in around 1 a.m. early Tuesday morning about a fire at the plant. When firefighters arrived, they discovered that a flash fire had taken place.

Reed of Riceland Foods said the fire started after a power outage at the plant. The piece of equipment Brown was working on chopped up rice hulls. When the power suddenly went out, the machine choked up on the hulls. Once the power started back, it became clogged, and sent out a flash fire injuring Brown.

Reed says Brown was able to radio for help, and passing truckers in the area also saw the flash, and dialed 9-1-1.

The plant received minor damage, and was shut down for about 20 hours for repair. As of Wednesday morning, the plant was back in full operation.

Riceland Foods in Waldenburg employs around 60 employees.

We'll continue to track this story. Hear more information from the fire chief on what he saw tonight on Region 8 News at Five & Six.