Forum News Service

ELLENDALE, Minn. -- A southeast Minnesota farmer is recovering after being stuck in corn up to his neck in a grain bin at a farm near Ellendale.

Christopher Johnson, 65, was clearing a crust layer from the corn in the bin Wednesday morning when the crust gave way and he sank into the grain. He was able to hang onto a rope hanging in the bin. Family members put plywood inside the bin so Johnson didn’t sink farther down and also shoveled grain away from him, said Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag. But the family was unable to free him.

Eleven fire, law enforcement and medical agencies then responded using a new system that many agencies now have to rescue people stuck in bins. Rescuers entered the grain bin from the roof and set up this new grain bin tube around Johnson to protect him from grain avalanching over his head. At the same time, numerous holes were cut around the base of the bin to relieve pressure and when the corn was low enough, a large section of the bin was removed to extricate him.

Christopher was transported by Mayo One helicopter to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester for assessments and observation.