Farmhand rescued from grain bin in ND

Video Courtesy of WDAY, MEWES FARM, CNN
Corn Bin

Photo Courtesy of WDAY, MEWES FARM, CNN

HOPE, N.D.- A North Dakota farmhand is grateful to be alive after he was trapped in a grain bin. The South African man was sucked in by the corn as he tried to break it up while the bin was being emptied.

Jason Mewes, Mewes Farm, who was part of the rescue effort says,  “It’s been tough, and everybody turned out and did what they needed to do. We are very thankful. He was in there so long that it’s hard to believe that he is ever going to come out of there alive.”

Mewes says, “I went up on top of the bin and looked down there and couldn’t see any sign of him.”

Mewes grabbed his tractor and rammed into the bin in an effort to get the corn flowing. He hit the bin hard enough to also damage the tractor.

Photos from the rescue effort at the Mewes Farm in North Dakota.

Aaron Reamer, Hope Fire Department, was the first responder on the scene. Reamer says, “He was still talking and breathing and able to communicate with us.”

Reamer and other farmhands who had jumped in to help, worked on securing the man by using aluminum grain bin rescue panels as they waited for more firefighters to arrive.

Reamer explains, “Formed into a circle to go around the victim who is trapped in the grain, what you do is you interlocked them and press them down into grain and it keeps it from collapsing further on them.”

While rescue efforts were being concentrated on securing the bin, firefighters on the outside worked to cut more holes into the bin. After an hour and a half, the rescue efforts were successful.

“Fantastic feeling to know that you saved a life,” says Reamer.

The man was rushed to Sanford Hospital in Fargo. Mewes says, “He is in pretty good spirits, he is a little bit sore, he’s got some corn in his lungs still that he is coughing up but all in all I think he’s going to make a full recovery.”

The Mewes family is eager to bring the farmhand back home, saying that he has become a part of their family in the few months that he has been there.  Mewes says, “We are just feeling very very thankful, very, very lucky and blessed that what could have been a tragedy didn’t go that way. Wasn’t his time I guess, and we still get to have him here.”


Categories: North Dakota News