Gassy German cows blamed for barn explosion

January 28, 2014
Cows in Germany
STEINGADEN, GERMANY - JULY 30: Cows walk home from the pasture on July 30, 2007 near Steingaden, Germany. German milk producers have announced they will raise prices on milk and milk products starting July 31 nationwide by as much as 50%. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

BERLIN (AP) — A herd of dairy cows nearly lifted the roof off their barn in central Germany when methane released by the animals caused an explosion.

Police in Hesse state said in a statement that a static electric charge apparently triggered the detonation, and a spurt of flame, on Monday at a farm in Rasdorf. The roof was slightly damaged and one cow suffered light burns. No people were hurt.

Police say 90 cows are kept in the shed and it wasn't clear why quantities of methane had built up. Bovine belching and flatulence releases large quantities of the gas.