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Gowrie man dies in grain bin accident

By Staff | Sep 3, 2015

-Farm News photo by Hans Madsen Rescue workers bring a Stokes basket into position Thursday morning to remove the victim of a grain bin accident at the Farmers Cooperative Co. grain elevator in Farnhamville. The worker, identified as Bret Steck in a statement on the company’s website, was killed in the accident. Several fire departments were on the scene for about two hours.



FARNHAMVILLE – A worker at the Farmers Cooperative Co. complex in Farnhamville is dead after an accident there Thursday morning.

Bret Steck, of Gowrie, “became engulfed in soybeans” while cleaning a grain bin at the plant located at 105 Garfield Ave. in Farnhamville, according to a statement from FC-Farnhamville.

The statement said Steck went into a grain bin “with proper supervision for routine cleaning” around 9 a.m. Aug. 27.

The accident happened during the cleaning.

“Today at Farmers Cooperative Company, we are saddened that we lost one of our friends and coworkers in a grain bin accident,” the company said on its website. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the family of Bret Steck of FC-Farnhamville.”

Law enforcement and rescue personnel both responded to the scene and worked to save Steck.

His body was recovered from the bin at 10:45 a.m.

“Proper authorities have been notified, and a full investigation will ensue,” Jim Chism, chief executive officer, Farmer’s Cooperative Co., said in a posted YouTube video.

The UnityPoint Health – LifeFlight air ambulance was called to the scene of the accident, but it eventually left due to deteriorating weather conditions.

A full investigation will be starting, according to the statement release by the cooperative.

“At this time, the focus of our thoughts is on the emotional healing of the Steck family and our coworkers,” the company’s statement said.

According to its website, FC serves more than 5,500 active members throughout a trade territory that exceeds 3 million acres. The company has more than 450 employees in its more than 60 locations.

The company constructed its first building, a grain elevator, in 1881 in Farnhamville.

Responding agencies included the Calhoun County sheriff’s office, Webster County Sheriff’s Department, Farnhamville Fire Department, Gowrie Fire Department, Rockwell City Fire Department and Iowa State Patrol.

More information will be released once the investigation is completed.

Funeral services are pending with Palmer & Swank in Gowrie.

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