It was just like “being in quicksand.”
An Ohio farmer says he nearly got buried by kernels of soybean in his tall grain bin.
Jay Butterfield, 70, says he climbed down to break up some damp clumps without any safety equipment on May 30 when he got stuck. He said he had done the same routine the day before without incident on his 116-acre farm north of Cincinnati.
“You think it’s not going to happen to you,” he told The Associated Press during a recent interview.
He said the crop piled up around him started to shift.
“The beans went out from under my feet and sucked them down that fast,” he told the AP. “Then they started rolling on top of me.”
He said he knew when the kernels had risen to his knees that he was in big trouble, because “it’s just like being in quicksand or cement.”
In addition to concerns about being buried, Butterfield also had to deal with dangerous machinery at the bin’s bottom. The leather from one of his steel-toed boots had been stripped off.
Not much later he said he was covered to his chin. He was able to yell for help, but a rescue operation, which included a vacuum truck, turned out to be elaborate and risky. Two holes were cut in the side of the bin.
“I knew as soon as I got that wall around me that I had a chance,” he said. “For two hours I thought I was a dead man.”
He was brought out through one of the holes in the side three hours after rescue efforts began.
“I’m a very lucky man,” he said.