UPDATE: Four employees injured in LaPorte County grain elevator explosion

From Ed Malecki (@edmalecki)
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Emergency crews responded Thursday morning to an explosion of the Co-Alliance LaCrosse Feed Mill in LaCrosse, IN.

It happened shortly before 10 a.m. Eastern time on 410 Howard Street.

A large grain elevator, approximately 175 feet tall, suffered severe structural damage in the explosion.

Four employees of the elevator were hurt. The LaPorte County Emergency Medical Service says the injuries weren't life-threatening and consisted mostly of burns.

Two Medivac helicopters were called to the scene to transport Jonah Pacione, 19, and Emilio Garcia, 43, to a burn unit in Fort Wayne where they are still receiving medical treatment.

Craig Chase, 34, and Chris Fort, 26, were taken by ambulance with less serious injuries to a hospital near Valparaiso. Fort was later sent to a burn unit in Chicago where he is still receiving treatment.

Chase was released from the hospital on Thursday night.

In a press release from Co-Alliance, CEO Kevin Still said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the employees who were injured today. We have notified their families and provided them the location of the medical facilities where their loved ones were taken for treatment. Co-Alliance personnel will be on-site at the hospitals to provide support and assistance to the employees and their families.”

Still added that the cause of the investigation is still unknown but the company will "work with the authorities in their investigation.”

The area surrounding the explosion site has been blocked off, as there is concern of a structural collapse.

Co-Alliance is a 100% farmer-owned partnership of cooperative businesses. The company delivers agronomy, seed, animal health, nutrition, grain marketing services, power fuel and home heat energy products to thousands of local farms, businesses and families through branch outlets in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.