Agribusiness & Food, Conveyors, Transfers, Chutes, Engineering, Equipment & Technology

US man killed in hopper fall

A 50-year-old man has died while attempting to dislodge stuck fertiliser from a rail wagon, according to a number of local media sources.

According to local papers the Livingston County News and The Evening Tribune, the man was killed on the morning of January 25 at his place of work in Lakeville, New York.

It is understood the man became buried in fertiliser while he and two colleagues were attempting to clear a blocked chute.

“The initial investigation by the Sheriff’s Office has determined that employees from Crop Productions Services were unloading fertiliser from a covered hopper rail car,” Sheriff Thomas Dougherty was quoted by The Evening Tribune.

“Three employees were working from the bottom of the rail car, while the product was being from a bottom chute. At a point during unloading, the product became stuck.

“In an attempt to clear the jam, two employees continued working near the bottom chute and one employee went to the top of the rail car.

“The employee at the top of the rail car entered into the cavity and became trapped. When the other employees realised what had happened they immediately called for help.”

First respondents including the Sherriff’s Office, the Fire Department and Ambulance services found the man to be deceased upon their arrival.

Livingston County Undersheriff Matt Bean, quoted by the Livingston County News, added: “A company here that uses the rail system in Lakeville to unload product – they have a covered hopper, it looks like a rail car, full of fertiliser … [employees were] trying to get the hopper unloaded into a truck via an auger system. They couldn’t get [the fertiliser] to break up, so one of the employees goes on top of this hopper and unfortunately fell into the hopper.”

The local Sherriff’s Office is conducting an investigation.

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