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Farmer Engulfed and Suffocated in Soybeans During Unloading of Steel Grain Bin

Iowa Case Report: 05IA020
Report Date: December 30, 2008

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


Mid-spring 2005, a 64-year-old lifelong farmer died in northeast Iowa when he was engulfed and suffocated in soybeans inside a cylindrical, steel grain bin on a farm he rented. He had entered the three-quarters full bin while the truck driver outside manned the high-capacity auger which conveyed beans from the bin to his semi-truck trailer. Concerned about the farmer's whereabouts when the flow of beans stopped, and unable to quickly find him, the trucker summoned emergency assistance. A Sheriff's Deputy was first on the scene in thirteen minutes, ahead of local volunteer fire/rescue personnel from two nearby towns. Area farmers responded, too, with torches to cut openings around the bin and assist in the hour-long rescue attempt. The farmer was pronounced dead at the scene.

Farmer Engulfed and Suffocated in Soybeans During Unloading of Steel Grain Bin [PDF 281 KB]

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