Victims south Wichita grain elevator accident officially identified

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Update:

The Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center identifies the victims killed in the Gavilon Grain, LLC grain facility incident on Tuesday as 28-year-old Joshua Rasbold, 28 and 32-year-old Marcus Tice.

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Update: Jan. 4

A family member has confirmed 28-year-old Joshua Rasbold was one of the two people killed in the grain elevator accident on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, a family friend identified Marcus Tice as the other person killed. Their bodies were recovered at Gavilon Grain, 5700 block of S. Hoover.

The county has not yet officially released the names of the people involved.

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Update: Wednesday, Jan. 3:

A family friend confirms one of the two people killed in the grain elevator accident Tuesday is Marcus Tice.

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10:11 p.m.

Gavilon Grain confirmed that two of its employees were killed in a workplace accident Tuesday afternoon.

While the identities of the two men have yet to be released, Gavilon Grain released the following statement Tuesday night.

"An unfortunate accident occurred this afternoon at the Gavilon
Grain facility in Wichita, Kan., that resulted in the fatality of two workers. Immediate family members have been notified. The company’s thoughts and prayers are with the workers’ families and loved ones. Our immediate concern is on caring for the families of the workers, conducting our internal investigation, and cooperating with the appropriate authorities in their investigation of the incident."

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5:20 p.m.

Sedgwick County dispatchers say the bodies of two people who were trapped in a grain elevator in south Wichita have been recovered.

Emergency crews responded to Gavilon Grain, in the 5700 block of S. Hoover Road, around 2:20 p.m. after it was reported that two workers were trapped in the bin.

It is unknown how the two got into the bin and became trapped under 20-25 feet of grain.

We expect an update from the Sedgwick County Fire Department on the scene around 5:30 p.m.

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4:35 p.m.

Emergency crews say an effort to rescue two people trapped in a grain bin at Gavilon Grain, 5700 block of S. Hoover, has been declared a recovery effort.

Dep. Chief Larry Tangney, with the Sedgwick County Fire Department, said a vacuum truck is being used to suck some of the grain out of the elevator through access points.

The Wichita Fire Department and Sedgwick County Fire Department's Technical Rescue Team are also being harnessed into the bin in an effort to find the victims.

Tangney said the hardest part of these types of situations is gaining access to the victims whom he said are trapped in 20-25 feet of grain.

"Anytime you have grain collapse like this, it's going to honeycomb down on the people," said Tangney.

Tangney said emergency crews do train for these types of events. He said the Regional Taskforce 5 USART (Urban Search and Rescue Team), which includes 25 to 30 people, are all assisting in the recovery effort.

Emergency crews expect to give another update around 5:30 p.m.

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4:10 p.m.

Sedgwick County dispatchers say one ambulance that was at Gavilon Grain where two people are trapped in a grain elevator has been called off.

Eyewitness News crews report seeing at least two vacuum trucks on the scene as well. These trucks are normally used to suck up liquids, sludges, slurries or mixtures of sand and water without the contact of any mechanical equipment.

A large amount of dust can be seen coming from equipment being used to drill into the side of the elevator in hopes of reaching the employees.

The two have been trapped in the grain for nearly two hours.

When emergency crews arrived on the scene they reported seeing at least one of the people. No condition has been given on either person.

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Emergency crews are on the scene of a workplace accident in south Wichita.

Sedgwick County dispatchers say the call came in around 2:20 p.m. in the 5700 block of S. Hoover Road at Gavilon Grain.

The Wichita Fire Department tweeted that it was assisting the county with its technical rescue team where two workers are trapped in a grain bin.

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The site of the accident was formally known as DeBruce Grain Elevator.

In 1998, seven people died and several others were critically hurt in an explosion at the site.

Investigators ruled highly flammable was likely the cause.

OSHA fined the company $1.7 million for safety violations.

The incident sparked legislation to give families of workers killed in workplace accidents an increase in death benefits.