February 13, 2014 |
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Rose Creek, MN, Farmer Rescued From Grain Bin

Survived 90 minutes with his legs trapped

Feb. 12--ROSE CREEK -- A Rose Creek farmer survived 90 minutes with his legs trapped in a drying bin on Tuesday afternoon.

Craig Nelson got stuck in the bin of soybeans while loading the beans into a semitrailer. Al Mullenbach, assistant chief of the Rose Creek Volunteer Fire Department, said Nelson climbed in after an unloading auger got stuck.

As he tried to loosen up the soybeans, Nelson got sucked in, with the beans up to his waist. He yelled for the driver of the semitrailer.

"It's cold in there, roughly the same temperature that is outside," Mullenbach said. "(Nelson) told me, that if someone would not have been out here with me, I would have froze to death.

"It took us about an hour to get him out of the there. I would guess he was inside the bin for one hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes."

Officials opened a door at the bottom of the drying bin and drained the beans until Nelson could fall down and crawl out the door. After being freed, Nelson was able to walk to an ambulance.

While an ambulance was called, Nelson did not need any further medical attention. Because only his legs were trapped, Nelson was able to breath normally, Mullenbach said. Nelson was checked out at the scene, and Mullenbach gave him a ride home.

Farm workers go into bins to loosen or inspect grain, but it can be deadly.According to an NPR News Investigation, nearly 180 people have been killed in grain-related entrapments at federally regulated facilities in the U.S. between 1984 and 2012. Eleven of those deaths occurred in Minnesota.

Copyright 2014 - Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn.

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