Man caught in grain auger at Valley Co-op near Oxford

A co-op employee is on the road to recovery after a traumatic incident Friday at facility near Oxford.

Valley Co-op General Manager James Jirak on Tuesday said that the employee remained at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita and is recovering nicely after surgery. He declined to provide the man’s name.

The employee was able to walk with the assistance of a walker and is expected to be released this weekend. 

Emergency services from around the area Friday responded after a man in his 20s accidentally stepped in a grain auger at Valley Co-op, 16101 23rd Road.

Winfield Fire Department led the rescue with Udall fire/EMS, Cowley County deputies and a state trooper on scene for manpower and scene security. 

Winfield Fire Chief Vincent Warren said crews were able to enter the grain bin through a ground-level access hatch and  then cut and dismantled the auger to free the man's foot.

According to the Farm Injury Resource Center, a grain auger is a long tube used to raise and transport grain from the ground to the top of grain bins. It has a long, screw-shaped shank driven by a pulley or gear at the top. As the shank turns, the grain moves upwards in the tube. 

An EagleMed helicopter with a Wesley Medical Center trauma surgeon onboard were requested for medical assistance and patient care. The man was freed from the auger just as the helicopter landed, Warren said.

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