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Indiana Grain Elevator on Fire Day After Blast

Wed, 06/26/2013 - 11:07am
A concrete grain silo in Union Mills, Ind. after an explosion reportedly destroyed the top of the structure on Monday, June 24, 2013. (AP Photo/La Porte County Herald Argus, Matt Fritz)

UNION MILLS, Ind. (AP) — A fire broke out and thick black smoke billowed from a northwestern Indiana grain elevator a day after an explosion at the plant killed a worker.

Facility owner Co-Alliance LLP says crews dismantling grain bins Tuesday at the Union Mills Co-op in Union Mills likely exposed smoldering grain to the wind. No injuries were reported.

Grain dust is the suspected cause of Monday's blast that killed 67-year-old worker James Swank at the facility about 30 miles southwest of South Bend.

LaPorte County sheriff's Sgt. Brian Piergalski tells WNDU-TV that authorities fearing new explosions evacuated some nearby homes.

Co-Alliance safety manager Shawn Lambert tells WSBT-TV the fire burned a rubber belt on a conveyor system.

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