UPDATE: United Ethanol cited in Wis. worker bin death

UPDATED Wednesday, October 30, 2013 --- 4:53 p.m.

MILTON, Wis. (AP) -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited United Ethanol for health and safety violations after a worker died in a grain bin in Milton.

An OSHA report says United Ethanol knowingly exposed an employee to a hazard that led to his death when a flow of corn buried him inside the bin in April.

The Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/16mHNRa ) reports the agency cited United Ethanol for 15 health and safety violations.

Twenty-seven-year-old Jerad Guell of Janesville died after he entered the grain bin to unclog a floor chute and the corn began flowing. The grain bin held 140,000 bushels of corn.

OSHA proposes fining United Ethanol $140,000.

A telephone message left at United Ethanol's corporate office in Beaver Dam was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
UPDATED Tuesday, April 23, 2013 --- 10:30 a.m.

Press Release from the Milton Police Department:

On Friday, April 19, 2013, Jerod W. Guell, 27, of Janesville, Wisconsin died in a grain bin accident at the United Ethanol plant in Milton, Wisconsin. United Ethanol employees initially attempted to rescue Guell from the grain bin after he was buried by corn, however, they were unsuccessful. Sixteen fire departments from Wisconsin and Illinois subsequently responded to the scene and a 12 hour rescue and recovery operation ensued until Mr. Guell was removed from the bin late that night.

The Rock County Coroner’s Office subsequently performed an autopsy on Mr. Guell and determined that the cause of death was asphyxia due to compression of the chest when he was buried by the corn. The preliminary autopsy report lists the death as accidental.

The City of Milton Police Department conducted an on scene investigation, and a follow up investigation into the death of Mr. Guell, and also found no evidence of anything other than an accidental death. It appears that Mr. Guell was working in the lower portion of the grain bin when a large amount of corn collapsed on to him from the outer portions of the bin, causing him to be buried.


Updated: Saturday, April 20, 2013 -- 11:49 p.m.

The following is a press release from the Milton Police Department:

It is with great sadness that we report the rescue efforts at the United Ethanol plant were unsuccessful. At 11:11pm tonight the body of Jerad Guell, 27, of Janesville was recovered from a grain silo at that facility.

Sixteen fire departments, two law enforcement agencies, and more than 100 public safety personnel had been on scene in excess of 12 hours attempting to rescue Mr. Guell in this industrial accident.

Mr. Guell had been an employee of the plant for approximately seven years and is survived by a wife and a young son.

The City of Milton Police Department and OSHA will follow up with a thorough investigation of the events surrounding this incident.


UPDATED Friday, April 19, 2013 --- 10:56pm

Press Release from City of Milton Police Department
Rescue operations are still ongoing at United Ethanol. It is unclear how much longer the operation will last.

The grain silo that the individual is in had 140,000 bushels of corn in it at the time of the incident, which is making the rescue challenging.

First responders from sixteen fire departments, two law enforcement agencies and OSHA have responded to the scene. There are nearly 100 public safety workers still on site.

The assisting agencies are;

Rock County Sheriff’s Office
Beloit Fire Department
Janesville Fire Department
Rockford Fire Department
Whitewater Fire Department
Town of Turtle Fire Department
Town of Beloit Fire Department
Clinton Fire Department
Sharon Fire Department
Stateline Area Rescue Team
South Beloit Fire Department
Harlem-Roscoe Fire Department
Evansville Fire Department
Mercy Health System’s – MD1
Cherry Valley Fire Department
Edgerton Fire Department
Southern Wisconsin Emergency Preparedness Team

An update will come when more information is available.

Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 -- 12:29 p.m.

Milton authorities started draining a United Ethanol grain bin Friday in search of a missing employee who may be inside.

They've been searching for the missing man since about 10 a.m. Friday morning. He was last seen working near a grain bin.

Milton police and the Rock County Sheriff's Department are on the scene.

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