Onida ethanol plant heavily damaged in explosion and fire

An explosion rips through the Ringneck Energy ethanol plant in Onida Sunday. Six workers at the plant escaped without serious injury. One person was treated for minor smoke inhalation.

Onida Fire Chief Caleb Shepard says it happened around 1:00 pm. He says smoke, flames and debris were immediately visible when crews arrived. Shepard says crews were able to go in and extinguish the flames.  He says the plant’s fire suppression system was also key.

Shepard says the whole town knew immediately something bad happened. The plant is about a mile from Onida but Shepard says the blast could be felt  throughout the town. He says there was major structural damage to the plant.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office will be at the scene today to begin an investigation into the cause.


July 10, 2023