Create a free Industrial Equipment News account to continue

Dairy Farm Explosion Kills 18,000 Cows

The facility’s machinery ignited methane gas.

An explosion at a Texas dairy farm this week injured one person and killed an estimated 18,000 cows.

According to the BBC, the explosion, which happened at the South Fork Dairy near the town of Dimmitt, is believed to have been caused when the facility’s machinery ignited methane gas. Local law enforcement said the machine that may have been at fault is referred to as a “honey badger” and that it works like a vacuum for removing water and manure.

A manure vacuum can be pulled by a tractor or mounted on a truck. It’s designed to span the width of the lanes in a dairy farm and dramatically reduce the amount of time and manpower it takes to keep the operation clean.

It’s still unclear what sparked the massive explosion in Texas but it’s an unfortunate fact that barn fires kill thousands of animals every year.

According to the Animal Welfare Institute, nearly 6.5 million animals have been killed in barn fires since 2013. The overwhelming majority of those animals are birds, with chickens accounting for more than 6 million deaths during that time period. The Institute said most fatal barn fires occur in states with colder weather. New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin had the highest number of barn fires, respectively.

More in Video