Minnesota man, 80, trapped in grain bin for 3 hours - KMSP-TV

Minnesota man, 80, trapped in grain bin for 3 hours

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John Daley was trapped in a corn-filled grain bin near Lewiston, Minn. for more than 3 hours, remaining conscious throughout the rescue effort. John Daley was trapped in a corn-filled grain bin near Lewiston, Minn. for more than 3 hours, remaining conscious throughout the rescue effort.
LEWISTON, Minn. (KMSP) -

A dramatic rescue played out in Lewiston, Minn., on Thursday as firefighters raced to save an 80-year-old man who was trapped in a grain bin and trying desperately to avoid slipping into the corn that could have suffocated him.

It took firefighters about 3 hours to get the John Daley to safety, and it took a lot of luck for him to survive at all. He was up to his neck in corn and, at times, it was over his head.

Remarkably, Daley remained conscious throughout the rescue, which involved dozens of responders -- but one in particular was his friend, Greg Smith. Smith rents the bins from Daley, and he described the rescue as a "miracle."

"I heard him hollering," Smith recalled.

Daley had climbed all the way up the ladder and was almost all the way down the ladder inside the bin when he somehow wound up in the middle of. Luckily, it was only one-third full.

"We had someone give him some rope," Smith said.

Yet, even with the rope, Daley struggled as the corn occasionally shifted -- but he got lucky again when his foot got caught on something. It was the grate, and rescuers believe that is likely what kept him alive and able to keep his head above the corn.

Next, rescuers cut a hole near the bottom of the grain bin so loose corn could be removed with an auger. It may seem odd, but the Lewiston fire chief explained that they have special equipment for exactly this purpose.

"The Lewiston fire chief told me a year ago they got equipment for this kind of thing," Winona County Chief Deputy Ron Ganrude said.

Daley was taken to a Winona hospital by ambulance, with minor injuries; however, most grain elevator accidents don't end with happy endings. In fact, about half of the people who fall inside do not live to tell the tale.

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