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Worker Killed in Grain Engulfment Incident at Iowa Facility

August 8, 2017

A 68-year-old worker died Monday after he was buried by soybeans in a grain bin at the East Central Iowa Cooperative site in Waterloo, IA.

Waterloo Fire Rescue Capt. Ryan Mahood told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that about 30,000 bushels of soybeans were inside the storage tower when the worker, identified as Rand Eugene Renner, entered Monday morning. It is unclear why the man entered the grain bin, the newspaper said.

The man became trapped at the bottom of a 30’ to 40’ funnel in “crusty” grain that seemed to flow poorly, Capt. Mahood told the Courier. Fire crews sliced holes in the side of the bin to remove grain, working for about two hours to free Renner before removing his body around 1:30 p.m., Radio Iowa reported.

An auger in the bin was operational at the time Renner became trapped.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the incident, several area news organizations said.

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