On February 7, 2008, an explosion occurred at the Imperial Sugar Company refinery in Portwentworth, Georgia. The explosion and resulting fire left 13 people dead, 42 people injured, and the plant destroyed. Sugar dust is being cited as the cause of the explosion. This is just the latest dust related explosion causing death, personal injury, and property loss. Five years earlier, on January 29, 2003, there was an explosion and fire at a pharmaceutical plant in Kinston, North Carolina. This resulted in six deaths, dozens of injuries, and hundreds of job losses. The facility produced rubber stoppers and other products for medical use. The explosion was fueled by an accumulation of fine plastic powder (dust) on a ceiling suspended over a manufacturing area. That same year, dust would be established as the likely source for explosions at 25 other plants in the United States, including two others in North Carolina and three in Kentucky. The following year, 28 other plants in 19 states would have dust explosions. In all, federal investigators say there have been 281 explosions nationwide over the past 25 years.
PEPPERL and FUCHS (2012) PREVENTING DUST EXPLOSIONS FOR HAZARDOUS, CLASS II APPLICATIONS