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MAN RESCUED: Employee Falls Into Grain Bin

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A northeast Iowa man is recovering after being rescued from inside a grain bin in Bremer County Tuesday morning.

Crews were called to Figanbaum Grain and Trucking Company in Tripoli around 11:00 a.m.

Curt Gitch of Fredericksburg is a long-time employee of Figanbaum Grain. He was working inside a grain bin to clean it out.

The hole on top of the bin was covered, but Gitch accidentally poked through it, breaking him loose and allowing the auger to suck him down into the corn below.

Luckily, the bin was only about a third full so Gitch was only covered from the chest down. He also had a cell phone and was able to call for help.

Workers shut the auger off, and emergency crews arrived soon after.

Using specialized boards, a lift truck, ropes and harness, Gitch was freed within an hour.

“I’ve been doing this for 35 years and I’ve always heard it could happen, but have never seen it happen. Now I have. So thank God for the fire rescue, you know, and the ambulance crew. They were awesome,” says Bill Figanbaum, owner of Figanbaum Grain.

Curt Gitch was taken to a Waterloo hospital as a precaution, but is said to be doing fine.

Bill Figanbaum says it’s hard to know if he’ll make any changes to help prevent future bin accidents since his business hasn’t had this happen before.

But he says he personally will take on bin cleaning from here out because if someone gets buried, he’d rather it be him than an employee.