TOLEDO, Ohio — Two male workers have died after being trapped in an Anderson grain silo on Edwin Drive in Toledo on Friday.
A police report identifies the men were 29-year-old Josh Stone of Rossford and 56-year-old James Heilman of Perrysburg.
Police say Stone was pronounced dead first.
A statement from The Andersons said, "At 9 a.m. this morning, The Andersons was alerted that two employees were trapped inside a grain storage tank at our facility on Edwin Drive in Toledo. Toledo Fire and Rescue was contacted immediately and rescue operations were initiated."
"We are deeply saddened to share that the two employees did not survive.
“The Andersons is profoundly shaken by this tragedy and the loss of two of our own,” said Corey Jorgenson, President of Assets and Originations for The Andersons Trade Group. “We are working closely with authorities to investigate the incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our two teammates.”
The Andersons were waiting to identify the men until their families could be notified.
Just after 6 p.m. Friday, crews recovered the first victim's body. Around 6:30 p.m., the second victim's body was also found and removed.
The Toledo Fire Department conducted a confined space/tech rescue for about two hours Friday morning before it turned into a recovery mission. Toledo Fire Pvt. Sterling Rahe said the workers were buried in the silo and crews were able to stop more grain from falling as they searched. Rahe said the process was difficult, as there was an estimated 180,000 bushels of grain weighing nearly 11 million pounds and temperatures inside the storage tank were over 120 degrees.
Multiple crews are on the scene for the recovery effort.
The circumstances of how the pair became trapped is unavailable at this time. Rahe said crews were not able to make visual confirmation of the two when the search began.
Rahe said there was a "substantial" amount of grain in the silo, but it was not full.
The crews successfully placed equipment in the silos to keep the remaining grain from collapsing in on the pair, Rahe said.
"We have specialized equipment that we use for something like this. We'll bring in very large boards to position around the people that are trapped in the grain to stop the rest of the grain from coming down," Rahe said. "We've successfully placed a lot of that equipment in to be able to stop the surrounding grain from collapsing in."
Crews removed equipment that the pair were using out of the silo. A Bobcat was removed from the scene that the two were using.
Historically, people can become at risk for a grain silo accident when they walk on top of the grain and it gives way. Extrication can be difficult during a grain submersion because the weight of the grain puts too much pressure on a person's body to allow them to escape on their own.