Michigan Man Dies, Trapped In Corn Silo Accident

May 16, 2019 - 5:40 pm

CASTLETON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WWJ/AP) - Michigan State Police are investigating the death of a western Michigan man who became trapped beneath corn in a silo.

According to investigators, 72-year-old Robert Othmer of Vermontville was working inside the silo near M-66 in  Castleton Township, at around 10 a.m. Thursday, when he became trapped beneath the corn.

Police said family members attempted to pull him free but were unsuccessful. Othmer was finally removed from the silo by first responders, but they were unable to save his life.

WOOD-TV reports the silo was about half full at the time of the incident; and that Othmer was under two feet of corn. Firefighters had to cut holes in the side, allowing the grain to escape, so they could could get to him.

As an investigation continues, it's still not clear how the man became trapped. 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 20 incidents in the U.S. involved grain bins between 2013 and 2018.  Out of those 20 cases, 16 people were been killed, two of them during a single incident, and five were injured. 

Castleton is located west of Lansing and north of Battle Creek, in Barry County.