Wisconsin manure digester explosion sparks fire

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WAUNAKEE, Wis. (AP) -- An explosion has destroyed the roof of a 1.25-million gallon manure digester near Waunakee.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff's office says the blast at the Clear Horizons LLC biodigester sparked a fire Wednesday that destroyed a $250,000 nylon inflatable cover over one of its three digesters. No injuries were reported, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

The chief executive officer of the company that owns Clear Horizons says he believes the explosion was caused by the ignition of methane gas as an employee started an electric blower.

The Clear Horizons facility generates electricity by burning methane in manure and reduces phosphorus in manure that will be used on farms.

The company has come under the scrutiny of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources after three spills occurred at the facility within nine months.

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