ROCKWELL, Iowa - A 56-year-old man was found deceased Friday inside a grain bin at the Five-Star Co-op.
Authorities identified the man as Jeffrey Sprague, of Mason City.
Employees of the Five Star Co-op arrived to work this morning and said the man was missing. The Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office was contacted at 7:34 a.m.
After a search of the property and removal of grain from the bin, Sprague was found inside.
The search for Sprague caught the attention of some onlookers, wondering what was going on. Kenny King lives just down the street from the Five-Star Co-op, and witnessed part of the operation.
"I saw all the EMS response teams out, and I noticed that there had to have been something going on with the grain bin, because I didn't see any smoke in the air nor any fire trucks, just the rescue squads."
Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals says that these sort of accidents are not very common.
"Most anything that has to do with a grain bin accident is very unusual. They happen, but I think everyone that works around that equipment is very cautious and tries to use safety."
King says he can relate; he was once trapped inside a cyanide tank and almost ran out of oxygen.
"Everyday may be your last, but you have to be careful even around things that look so secure. There's always a danger around the corner."
He offers a message of sympathy that he would like to leave for Sprague's family and co-workers.
"I pray that his family understands that and take my deep condolences for their loss."
The medical examiner's office is continuing their investigation, and OSHA is also conducting an investigation as well.
The Rockwell Fire Department, Rockwell-Swaledale EMT, and Mason City Fire EMS assisted the Sheriffs Office in the operation.
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