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Fire officials release cause of LaCrosse grain elevator explosion

An explosion at the La Crosse Feed Mill grain elevator on April 16th was ruled accidental.

According to firefighters a fire in the basement of the grain elevator led to the explosion. However, they couldn't determine the exact cause of that fire.

“The exact cause of the original fire could not be determined with certainty, however, the following causes could not be ruled out:  possible slipping of a belt, electrical malfunction in wiring or static electricity.  The initial fire ignited dust in different areas of the elevator's structure causing three to four explosions within the elevator,” said La Crosse Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Aaron Rust. 

Four Co-Alliance employees, Jonah Pacione, Emilio Galicia, Chris Fort and Craig Chase were injured but have since been treated and are expected to recover.

“Co-Alliance is committed to cleaning-up the site as soon as demolition bids are evaluated and the site is released by regulators and insurance carriers, and Co-Alliance employees will continue to work closely with local officials through the demolition process,” said Co-Alliance Safety and Risk Manager Shawn Lambert.
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