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Suspicious Polk County explosion leaves man critically injured

The Marathon-Oneida County Bomb Squad responded Dec. 4 to a Polk County home after a suspicious explosion left a man with severe hand injuries. Submitted photo

Polk County authorities said a man was critically injured Tuesday after an explosion at a house where suspicious chemicals were found.

The man, whose identity was not released, was airlifted to Regions Hospital in St. Paul for severe injuries to his hand and burns to other body parts, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

The incident was reported at 8:15 p.m. Dec. 4 at a home in the town of Sterling near Cushing — a community about 15 miles north of Taylors Falls, Minn., — for a man who had "blown his hand off," according to a sheriff's office news release.

Cushing first responders and firefighters responded before requesting the airlift.

Investigation of the scene revealed suspicious chemicals that prompted a call to the Marathon-Oneida County Bomb Squad. Bomb squad personnel reported finding chemicals inside and outside the home that, while individually stable, would become explosive if mixed.

The FBI was among agencies assisting the sheriff's office in the incident, which remains under investigation.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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