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story.lead_photo.caption Stuttgart-based Riceland Foods Inc. is shown in this file photo. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo)

An explosion at a Riceland facility in Stuttgart on Thursday evening left three workers with minor injuries and caused "significant" damage to a structure, a spokesman for the company said Friday.

The explosion happened at a building used to store rough and milled rice at about 5:20 p.m., according to Riceland spokesman Kevin McGilton. The spokesman said the company believes the blast occurred due to an accumulation of grain dust, accompanied by some sort of spark.

The facility uses equipment to minimize and capture that dust and clean it out of the air, but McGilton added “these things do happen. It’s just one of the hazards of handling rough grain and the dust that that grain produces.”

McGilton described the injuries the workers received as “very minor,” and not life-threatening.

The workers were treated and released, according to a news release issued Friday by the company.

Damage to the building caused by the explosion was “significant,” though the spokesman said he wasn’t immediately sure what impact it would have on operations at the facility.

The explosion is under investigation.

“If there’s any corrective action that would need to take place to keep team members safe obviously we’re going to do that,” McGilton said.

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