UPDATE: Industrial Accident At Purina Mill - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

UPDATE: Industrial Accident At Purina Mill; Man's Leg Gets Stuck In Auger

Posted: Updated:

Spokane Fire Department Press Release: 

On October 4th, 2013 at 6:44 A.M. the Spokane Fire Department responded to a report of a worker from the Purina Mills Plant at 4714 E. Trent stuck in some machinery. Engine 8 from their station located at 1608 N. Rebecca was first on the scene and rapidly assessed the situation. They found an adult male patient that was pinned by one of the plant augers on the top of the roof, six stories high.

The patient had a serious leg injury so the crew placed a tourniquet to stop further hemorrhaging and continued with their life saving stabilization of the patient. Plans were immediately made to provide advanced life support care to the patient, the extrication of the patient from the machinery, the proper packaging of the patient and finally, the transport of the patient which included lowering the patient to the ground.

As the various plans were being put into place, a special request was made for a surgeon to respond to the scene. As a result of this request, three surgeons from Deaconess Hospital arrived on the scene and were involved with the extrication of the patient and patient care. They were supported by a nurse from Medstar and Fire Department paramedics. At this same time, blood from Valley Hospital was being rushed to the scene by a deputy from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. While the machinery was confirmed to be locked out and isolated, extrication crews consisting of Rescue 9 and Ladder 1 continued to aggressively work providing patient care to stabilize the patient while the machinery was being dismantled to free him.

A contractor's crane was used to lift a basket to the level where the patient was. This same crane was responsible for lowering the patient to the ground. The Fire Department Technical Rescue Team from Station 4 worked hand in hand with the crane operator and made sure of the patient's safety and transport back to the ground. The patient was flown to Sacred Heart Hospital by Medstar.

The cause of this incident is being investigated by the State of Washington Labor and Industries.

Previous Coverage: 

UPDATE: A Spokane man needed to have his right leg surgically removed to be freed from a stainless steel auger at a grain mill.

The 29-year-old man was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center by a helicopter shortly after his leg was removed Friday morning.

Spokane Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer says the last resort was to surgically remove the leg, but rescuers had little choice because the incident occurred six stories above the ground.

Rescue crews were called to the Purina Mill shortly before 7 a.m. and found the patient stuck above a grain mill on an external catwalk.


SPOKANE, Wash - Friday morning just before 6:45, emergency crews responded to an industrial accident at the Purina Mill on East Trent. A 29-year old man somehow got his leg caught in an industrial auger.

Emergency crews responded and a technical rescue ensued as the man was trapped high off the ground near the top of the building. The auger was made of stainless steel. Crews tried to cut through the auger but were unable to do so.

Two surgeons from Deaconess were called on scene to help free the man. No word has been released yet on whether or not they had to amputate but somehow they were able to release him.

The man was then transported to a stretcher and then to a crane that was set up to bring him down to the ground safely. He was transported by Medstar to the operating room at Sacred Heart.

The man was an employee of Purina Mill and was trapped for a total of one hour and 17 minutes. He was conscious and alert the entire time but was in a lot of pain. Authorities said he did a great job remaining calm throughout the whole rescue.

He has serious injuries but no details have been released on exactly what they are.

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