By Rob Shultz. From Wisconsin State Journal. Originally posted: July 11, 2014. Original Article.


A 9-year-old boy was killed Thursday after he became trapped under several feet of corn inside a grain bin while trying to loosen a stuck auger on a farm in Grant County, authorities said.

The accident happened at about 11:15 a.m. at 2558 Dry Hollow Road in the town of Liberty, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Department.

The farm is located just north of Highway A, almost directly between Lancaster and Rewey.

The boy did not have a pulse after fire department personnel extricated him about an hour after he became trapped, Lancaster Fire Chief Steve Braun said. Rescuers had to move 10 to 14 feet of corn inside the bin to reach the boy, Braun added.

“Attempts to resuscitate the boy failed,” Braun said.


His name was not released Thursday.

An initial investigation showed that the auger was stuck and inoperable inside the half-full bin, the sheriff’s department said.

The bin holds anywhere from 7,000 to 8,000 bushels of grain at capacity. The boy and several family members were trying to fix the auger when he became trapped inside.

Fire department personnel and emergency crews from Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties, as well as crews from the Southwest Wisconsin Regional Technical Rescue Team and Med Flight worked together to free the boy from the bin and attempt to resuscitate him, Braun said.

“At least a dozen different agencies sent personnel there to help,” Braun added.

In the past 50 years, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported, 62 percent of them fatal, according to researchers at Purdue University in Indiana.

In Wisconsin, one worker was killed in a grain engulfment at an ethanol plant in Milton last year. Another was injured in 2010 in Burlington, when he became engulfed in soybeans.