It took only seconds.
Tim Hansen climbed inside the grain bin with a long pole, planning to shove it down into the corn to clear a crust of kernels stopping corn from funneling out to be loaded into trucks.
His grown son, Chris Hansen, stood outside the 60,000 bushel bin northeast of Dixon with a two-way radio that let him talk to his 60-year-old dad. They knew going inside a bin could be dangerous and liked to keep in contact as a precaution.
Chris tried to radio his dad but got no response. He banged on the side of the bin, turned off the auger then climbed to the top.
“When I got to the top of the bin and looked in, his bar was sitting dead smack over the center of the hole where it should have been but there was no dad,” Chris said.
It took rescue workers more than two hours to find Tim Hansen’s body at the bottom of the bin under 10 feet of corn. Chris believes there was a void in the grain that collapsed, causing Tim to fall backward and sucking him under.
One to three people die in Nebraska each year from becoming entrapped in grain.
Nationally, this year is expected to be the deadliest for grain engulfment since 2010, which was the deadliest year on record, according to Bill Field, professor in the department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue publishes an annual summary of grain-related entrapments and engulfment in the United States.
The number of incidents recorded this year surged passed ...