Farmer engulfed then asphyxiated by corn in grain bin
Iowa Case Report: 09IA012
June 28, 2011
During March 2009, a 70-year-old farmer died in a grain bin on his 600 acre (242 hectare) farm in southeast Iowa. The victim and two other men began unloading shelled corn through the side door of a corrugated steel bin. They used a grain vacuum to pneumatically convey the corn from the bin into a waiting semi-truck trailer. The victim entered the bin, something the lifelong farmer had done many times, to hold back and meter spoiled corn as it mixed with other corn flowing toward the grain vacuum at the side door below. He became entrapped and then engulfed in the flowing grain. The victim in this event, which was not witnessed, was recovered by emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and transported to a local hospital where death was pronounced. The cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation due to submersion in grain within a bin.