UPDATE: Explosion victim on the road to recovery

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Updated December 11, 2017, 3:22 p.m.

UPDATE: NACHUSA, Ill. (WIFR) - The Sterling man injured in last week's gas pipeline explosion begins his road to recovery, starting with his first surgery over the weekend.

20-year-old Michael Koster suffered second and third-degree burns over 65% of his body. Doctors say he will need at least three skin graft surgeries to help him heal from the accident.

Koster's sister Diane says her family is taking it one day at a time and are hopeful Michael will continue to improve each day.

Koster's family says he had been working with M&R Farms, the owners of the land, for almost a year. Doctors say they will wait to see how he responds to his first surgery before scheduling the next procedure.


Updated December 6, 2017, 12:37 p.m.

UPDATE: DIXON, Ill. (WIFR) - The Lee County Sheriff's Office releases the names of the four men killed or injured in Tuesday morning's explosion in Dixon.

Investigators say 59-year-old Rory Miller, of Amboy, and 30-year-old Ryan Miller, of Oregon were killed by the explosion.

Police say 20-year-old Michael Koster, of Sterling, is in critical condition at St. Anthony's hospital in Rockford and 20-year-old Kyler Acklund, of West Brooklyn, was treated for his injuries and released from the hospital.


Updated December 5, 2017, 3:37 p.m.

UPDATE: DIXON, Ill. (WIFR) - The Lee County Sheriff's Office says two people were killed during an explosion in Dixon Tuesday morning around 9. They say two other people were hospitalized, one is in critical but stable condition and the other is in stable condition.

Lee County sheriff John Simonton says at this time the names of the people involved in the accident will not be released until family is notified.

Fire crews say farm workers were installing a tile, to aid with moisture in the ground, in the field when one tractor became stuck. A second tractor attempted to free the first but lost traction when the explosion happened.

Natural gas company Kinder Morgan says the site of the explosion has been secured and that a second pipeline was not hit by farm equipment. Kinder Morgan official Dee Bennett says the farm workers should have called JULIE before digging, but it is not known if a call was made.

Fire crews say Route 38 will remain closed until it is determined that it is safe to reopen the roads.


Updated: December 5, 2017 11:50 a.m.

DIXON, Ill. (WIFR) -- The Lee County Coroner's Office says they have been called to the scene of a natural gas pipeline explosion in Dixon.

The Lee County Sheriff's Department says a natural gas pipeline was "compromised" leading to the explosion. The gas company is currently on scene to make sure the pipeline is secured.

The Coroner's office says they cannot comment at this time on how many people may have been killed.

The Illinois State Fire Marshall is taking over the investigation.


DIXON, Ill. (WIFR) -- Several crews are on scene of a possible pipeline explosion on a field in Dixon.

The Lee County Sheriff's Department has closed Route 38 between Nachusa Road and Robbins Road.

At this time investigators have not confirmed what led to the explosion near the area of Nachusa Road and Route 38.

Witnesses tell us a farmer may have been using farming equipment in that area when they struck the pipeline.

We have a crew on scene and are working to confirm more details.