UNION COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) The two people trapped for hours in a Union County grain bin Wednesday are back home after their rescue. They are fortunate.
Doug Omer and his nephew, Logan, were pulled out of the bin at the farm on Kentucky 492. Omer says he’s thankful to still be alive after all the help they got yesterday.
“I’m sore. Lucky to be here. I’m exhausted,” he said.
Omer says he was unloading corn at his farm when he noticed a problem and went inside the grain bin to find the problem.
“I hear this little crinkle, and I turn around, and there was a four foot wall of grain. I went from ankle deep to mid-chest in three seconds,” he recalled.
He banged on the side of the bin with PVC pipe. His father heard the banging, and called Doug’s nephew, Logan Gough, for help. Logan also went inside the grain bin to dig his uncle out.
“Once he got my chest dug out, I could breathe a lot better, but he was committed in, he couldn’t leave. Everything he dug would come back down on me,” he said.
Rescuers were then called in to get Doug and Logan out of the bin.
“This is something that don’t happen a lot,” says Dale Pierce of the Morganfield Fire Department. He says crews brought in a Res-Q-Tube to get Omer out safely. It was the first time they used it. The Res-Q-Tube is about five feet tall, and what it does is rescue crews put it together, and lower it into the grain where the person it. Then they use this auger to get the grain or corn out so they can get the person out quicker. Emergency Management Director Rick White says it improves survival rates.
“Before this, it was 50%. You get two people in a grain bin, more than likely, one is not coming out alive, and it’s a recovery. This here, it’s raised it up tremendously,” he said.
Pierce says rescuers dealt with several complications ranging from corn dust to how Omer was positioned.
“The corn, when we went in, he was on the low side and the reservoir was at an angle, so we had to keep in mind everything we move here, we’ve got to be careful so that the corn does not come down on top of us,” he explained.
Logan was removed first, then Omer was pulled out safely, taking a total of more than four hours. Omer says he’s taking it easy the next couple days, and he thanks everyone for helping get him out.
“I owe Logan and the first responders my life. They were great,” said Omer.
(This story was originally published on May 5, 2022)