November 28, 2023

Grain Bin Rescue in Cape Breton, NS


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Larry Kinsman, the deputy chief of the Great Village and District Fire Brigade, said a couple of firefighters were able to climb up the grain elevator at Balamore Farm Ltd. and get a rope down to the 20-year-old man.

“Before it was all said and done, he was up to his chin in corn,” said Kinsman, while firefighters cleaned gear out of the 300-tonne grain elevator. “He went in because the auger wasn’t working right. The corn on this side of the bin was about halfway up, but it was about four or five feet higher on the other side, so it kept flowing at him.”

The deputy chief said the man, who is an employee at the farm, was able to get his phone out before the corn covered his waist and phoned for help.

According to a press release from the Colchester RCMP, the employee called a co-worker, who turned off the auger immediately. When they were unable to free the man, they phoned for assistance from emergency personnel.

Knowing Cobequid District Fire had special training and equipment, as did the Special Hazards Response Unit, Kinsman said they wasted no time in calling in mutual aid.

“It went pretty quick, because normally these types of rescues take about three hours. He was walking…his hands had gone numb but that was from the rope around his chest and him sagging down. He had a lot of pressure on him.”

Firefighters from Valley-Kemptown responded with the department’s aerial truck, and assisted in bringing the man down to paramedics shortly after 2:30 p.m.

He was assessed on scene before being transported to the Colchester East Hants Health Centre for further treatment of what’s believed to be non-life threatening injuries.

The Nova Scotia Department of Labour has been contacted about the workplace accident.

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