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PORTAGE | An employee of an industrial business at 6721 Waterway Drive within the Port of Indiana, was airlifted early Tuesday afternoon with traumatic life-threatening injuries.

Portage Fire Assistant Chief Dan Kodicek said a man in his 50s was trapped beneath a 5,000-pound partial roll of steel coil at the plant Tuesday afternoon.

He did not know how the accident happened.

Kodicek said the Portage Fire Department responded and worked with employees using fork lifts and an overhead crane to lift the steel coil from the man. He said it took about 20 to 25 minutes to remove the man.

Kodicek said Memorial Medflight was called to airlift the man to South Bend Memorial Hospital with the helicopter landing at the helipad at the port.

Kodicek said he couldn't release the identity of the man who received injuries to both legs and one arm. 

He added the company will be investigating the cause of the accident. Kodicek said he didn't have the company's name, only the address of the incident. No exact matching address was found for a company at the port.

Calls were made to several companies in the area of the address provided, but none would confirm the incident happened at their facility.

A message left for a spokesman at the Indiana Port Commission was not returned.

South Haven Fire Department assisted in the rescue with an ambulance and Burns Harbor and Washington Township departments assisted in setting up the landing zone.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.