From WILL - WILL Highlights -

Grain Bin Entrapment on ‘Focus’

10 am Tuesday, Aug. 13: We’ll hear about what it’s like to be inside a grain bin … and what its like to survive being completely submerged under four feet of corn for more than four hours.

Grain bins

Grain bins

A few weeks ago on a farm outside a small north central Iowa town, Arick Baker was enveloped under 4 feet of grain in less than 10 seconds while working inside a silo. He was surrounded by 22,000 bushels of corn, exerting more than 400 pounds of pressure on most of his body. Unlike most who are caught in a grain bin entrapment, Baker survived. That makes him an extreme exception to the rule. We’ll hear from Baker about what it was like to be trapped in the corn. Rescuers estimate it was more than 100 degrees inside the bin while he was trapped; he walked away with little more than a few bruises and scrapes. 

Then, we’ll hear fromWilliam Field, professor of agriculture at Purdue University, about why these preventable farming accidents happen. He has been tracking these types of incidents since the mid-1970s and will talk with us about why it’s hard to pin down exactly how many incidents happen each year and what’s being done to decrease the number of them. University of Illinois Extension agriculture broadcaster Todd Gleason, who used to play in grain bins growing up on the farm, will also be here to talk with us about farm culture, growing up around grain and why this is a problem that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention until the last few years.

Dave Wisher, who is a part of the Urbana Fire Department’s Maybus 28 Technical Rescue Team, joins us for the last portion of the hour. Maybus 28 is a specialty team of firefighters trained to conduct search and rescue in confined spaces. Wisher was involved in efforts to rescue the Sidney, Ill., man who died in a grain entrapment earlier this summer.