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Fire crews rescue man from Minooka grain bin

Emergency crews rescued a man who was stuck in a grain bin Thursday in Minooka.

The man was in stable condition after he was extricated from the grain bin, officials said.

The Minooka Fire Protection District received a call about 12:45 p.m. Thursday about a man buried to his waist in a grain bin on West Mondamin Street, Elwood Fire Chief William Offerman said.

“He’s out,” Offerman said. “He’s doing well.”

Offerman said the grain bin is owned by Minooka Grain, Lumber & Supply Co.

Offerman said fire personnel worked throughout the early afternoon to remove grain from the silo in order to free the man. The man was rescued and feeling well about 4 p.m., Offerman said.

About 20 fire departments assisted with the rescue. Mondamin Street from Casey’s gas station to The Shrimp Barn restaurant was packed with emergency and fire vehicles.

A Vac-Con single-engine combination machine truck also was at the scene. The vehicle has a vacuum and water drive system.

The rescue team used a tube to remove grain from around the man so that he could be freed.

“It’s very difficult to get somebody out of grain,” Offerman said. “As fast as you’re digging out, it slides back around you.”

Offerman said he was unsure how the man got stuck in the silo. He said the man was conscious and breathing while fire crews worked to free him.

It only takes two or three seconds for a person to become trapped in flowing grain, and an additional 10 seconds to become completely submerged, according to the National Agricultural Safety Database’s website.

“Victims are most commonly engulfed while walking across the grain surface during bin unloading,” according to the site.

The NASD recommends people never enter a grain bin while the unloading augur tool or suction tube is running.

The NASD said a person buried to the waist in grain requires a force equivalent to their own body weight plus 600 pounds to be freed.

“The force required to remove a person buried under grain can exceed 2,000 pounds,” according to the NASD.

A man at the scene of the rescue, who did not want to be named, said he was happy to learn the trapped man was fine.

“If you know anything about grain, you know it sucks you up like quicksand,” he said.

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