Iowa Firefighters Rescue Man Buried in Grain Bin

ELKHART, Iowa --

Rescue crews pulled a man out of a grain bin after he was trapped for more than three hours on Tuesday.

The accident was reported at 9:39 a.m. at the Heartland Co-op at 4300 94th Ave., east of Ankeny.

Crews from Des Moines were called to help Ankeny with the rescue.

Ankeny Fire Chief Rex Mundt said firefighters were lowered into the bin and put an oxygen mask on the man, an employee at the co-op, and monitored his condition.

The man was buried up to his chest in grain.

Emergency crews brought in equipment to empty grain from the bottom of bin in an attempt to get the man free. The man was tethered along with two firefighters inside the bin so he was secure as they remove the grain.

The man reported that he was feeling some pressure but was OK.

1 p.m. Man rescued, loaded into helicopter.

The man was rescued around 1 p.m. after being brought out a 30-inch opening at the base of the grain bin at 12:55 p.m. -- nearly 3.5 hours after the ordeal started.

The Mercy One air ambulance was called to the scene to transport the man to the hospital.

Officials later identified the man as Steve Kaufman, 56, of Ankeny. He has worked at the co-op for six years and was performing routine maintenance when the accident happened.

Kaufman was listed in fair condition on Thursday afternoon.

Two other employees and an Ankeny firefighter were taken to a hospital as a precaution to be checked out after being exposed to the grain dust.

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