Farm explosion severely burns one [UPDATED]

Published 11:04am Tuesday, September 25, 2012 Updated 8:08am Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A 57-year-old man suffered life threatening injuries Monday after a tractor he and another man were working on exploded.

According to law enforcement, William Litzau, 57, of Osage, and Tresten Schaefer, 36, of Frazee, were at a farm location off County Road 128, near County Highway 5, south of Ottertail, and were using a cutting torch to dismantle a farm combine. Around 2 p.m., they used the torch to remove the straps of the combine’s fuel tank, and the fuel tank exploded, severely injuring Litzau and causing first degree burns to Schaefer’s face and neck and second degree burns to his arm.

Litzau was taken to Perham Health before being transported by air to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Schaefer also went to Perham Health. A third man, Curt Zacharias, 35, of Richville, was on the scene at the time of the explosion and received second degree burns to his hand.

  • Jeremy Jenkins

    I feel very sorry for the people involved here but seriously? Can we say lack of common sence? You have a fuel tank. No matter how old it is if it had fuel in it at anypoint in time there is a chance of fire. And u add a cutting torch into the equasion???

    One they r lucky to be alive…two its these type of no common sence people that give things a bad name…I only pray during this harvest season that god give each and every person involved the common sence to get thru the entire harvest season with no injuries and no loss of any live at all…

    This can be a great time of year if everyone uses just alittle common sence…

    • tsfosse

      one should not talk about common sense with out the good manners to know you shouldn’t say anything if you have nothing nice to say. What is the point of your post except to be hurtful to the surviving family who may read this article? You should be ashamed of your lack of common sense and your horrific mannors.

  • P. Carlson

    Ryan Howard this was not one of your better writings. Who owned or rented the farm. Who owned the combine. Were these three men supposed to be there and why would they dismantle a combine in a field. Especially use a torch to remove a gas tank in the field? When the five W’s are not answered, the article leaves me with a sour note of wasted time answering your required survey questions before being allowed to read what you wrote. C-

    • rayday73

      they were there to dismantle a farm combine so it could be crushed.they were just working men trying to make a living. ya there familys must be going through hard time know ill pray for then.

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