Electrical problem likely caused Union Mills grain elevator blast

UNION MILLS – An electrical problem, which likely caused one or more motors to overheat, is what probably sparked Monday’s explosion at a Union Mills grain elevator, the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office said, Wednesday.

Investigators were able to reach the motors, Wednesday, and found parts of them were scorched, Chief Deputy Jim Sosinski said.

The investigation was delayed slightly when part of the grain elevator caught fire, Tuesday evening.

That fire burned out overnight, but some grain continued to smolder Wednesday afternoon, Co-Alliance LPP, the owner of the facility said.

Monday’s explosion killed 67-year-old James Swank, a worker at the facility, who was at the top of the roughly 175 foot elevator, and fell to his death, according to the LaPorte County Coroner.