posted on December 07, 2011 18:33
ABOVE: Photo of grain bin involved in accident at Rumble Farms. Photo taken after extrication of victim.
One woman is seriously injured and has lost most of her right leg, after she slipped and became trapped in a grain auger at Rumble Farms in Elba.
Elba Fire Chief Brian Russell tells WBTA News 24-year-old Diane Beechler of Oakfield was working on the edge of the grain auger Wednesday afternoon. She was trying to clean out the machine, when officials say she slipped and fell in. Beechler's leg and arm, as Chief Russell termed it, were "sucked" into the machine.
According to the Genesee County Sheriff's office, a hunter in the area happened to notice a problem with the implement's power take-off device around 3:30pm. He investigated and found Beechler trapped. The hunter quickly sprang into action, shutting off the PTO and calling 9-1-1.
Elba and Oakfield fire crews arrived on-scene within ten minutes, but then worked for about 1 1/2 hours to remove the victim from the auger. She was supplied with blankets during the extrication to keep her warm in freezing temperatures.
"We're used to extricating out of cars, not farm equipment, so it definitely adds to the challenge," said Chief Russell. "There's a lot of heavy metal in the auger, so we had to cut the shield off, then cut a tube to get her out."
The victim is an Elba resident and works at Rumble Farms. Alton Beechler was on the scene, and tells WBTA News he is the victim's father in-law. He says she does not live at Rumble Farms.
Beechler says the age of the equipment was likely a factor in the accident.
"The newer (models) have a screen on the bottom (of the bin), so theoretically this won't happen," he said. "This is an older one."
Beechler says his daughter in-law sustained serious injuries, and may lose limbs. But he's confident she will pull through.
"She is tough," he said. "If anyone can survive it, I would believe it'd be her. All we can do is pray."