Officials Look For Safety Concerns In Grain Elevator Demolition

December 5, 2011 Updated Dec 5, 2011 at 8:10 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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December 5, 2011 Updated Dec 5, 2011 at 8:10 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. A historic grain elevator in Buffalo lay in rubble after being demolished last Friday.

"The Coast Guard received notification that the grain elevator had fallen into the water," Lt. Tom Pequignot with the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The demolition was planned but according to the Army Corp of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard, the collapse into the water was not planned.

"The Coast Guard was not aware of a demolition that would impact the waterway," Pequignot said.

Now, it's the private company Ontario Specialty Contracting Incorporated that is associated with the elevator, that is responsible for cleaning up the debris. The Coast Guard and the Army Corp of Engineers are looking to make sure the waterway is safe.

"We've dispatched our crews into the Buffalo River so we have a better idea of where the debris might be in the river. Our responsibility primarily is to maintain a safe water borne transportation corridor," Joshua Feldmann with the Army Corp of Engineers said.

At this time, they are allowing boats and freights to navigate the river but they want those captains to be on the lookout for danger.

"Issue notice of navigation so people who are using the canal are aware of any obstruction," Feldmann said.

As for the private company, in a written statement they said the clean up is underway and that the operation of demolition was a success. The Army Corp says they have not gotten word that the clean up process is completed at this time. They also said the accident will not have long-term effects on the quality of the water and their efforts clean canal.

"We're continuing to do the dredging in the canal we don't think it will impede the process. We will, if material needs to be remove, pursue that,' Feldmann said.