Lazbuddie, TX Grain Elevator Explosion, June 1969




Lazbuddie -- One man was killed and two were injured about 1:55 p.m. Friday in the fiery explosion of a grain elevator on the west side of this Parmer County town.
The body of CLOYS WANE STANBERRY, 31, was not recovered from beneath tons of grain and debris at the Sherley Anderson Grain Elevator until 6:55 p.m.
Justice of the Peace Wilbur Charles of Bovina ruled STANBERRY dead at the scene. The elevator is located on FM-145.
Reported in serious condition at Lubbock's Methodist Hospital late Friday with a fractured leg and burns was ASCENSION BORJAS, 50. BORJAS underwent surgery Friday night.
JESSE MARTINEZ, 41, was reported in good condition Friday night at Muleshoe's West Plains Hospital with first and second degree burns. All three men were Lazbuddie residents.
A Department of Public Safety helicopter was dispatched to the scene from Lubbock and another from Cannon AFB near Clovis, but neither was needed in fighting a small fire.
BORJAS was taken to Methodist Hospital by Singleton Funeral Home ambulance after treatment at West Plains Hospital in Muleshoe.
About 50 rescue workers from surrounding towns, including Friona and Muleshoe, spent hours shoveling away grain and debris in a search for STANBERRY, who was inside the elevator at the time of the blast.
Officers investigating the explosion said apparently it was touched off when STANBERRY flipped what was believed to be a faulty electrical switch in the boot pit of the elevator. The air had been filled with highly combustible grain dust and a spark from the switch was believed to have triggered the explosion.
The force of the explosion blasted one side out of the 300-foot elevator. Debris pierced the side of a house 50 yards distant and demolished a cinder block fence at the side of the home.
Persons in the house were not injured by the explosion. The house is owned by Joe C. Moore, manager of the elevator.
No damage estimate was available Friday. Moore was on vacation in Oklahoma and had not been notified by late Friday.
Fire departments from Muleshoe and Friona were called to fight the blaze caused by the explosion. The fire was quickly brought under control and firemen then joined in the search for STANBERRY.
No injuries were reported among firemen and other rescue workers at the scene.

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Texas 1969-06-07