Dozens of Americans actually fall victim to similar deaths every single year.
An Iowa man died on Nov. 7 after being buried underneath an avalanche of corn.
Russ Kurth, a supervisor in Harrison County, and another man had been investigating a leak in a grain bin when its door malfunctioned, unleashing a tide of corn under which Kurth soon became trapped, reported The Daily Nonpareil.
Kurth’s colleague, who remains unidentified, was able to escape the corn but was not able to save the trapped 63-year-old man. About an hour after the avalanche, fire and rescue workers were able to pull Kurth from the corn and get him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, reported The Des Moines Register.
The incident is currently under investigation and authorities have released no statement about why the door may have malfunctioned or exactly how much corn spilled out onto Kurth.
As for Kurth, he’d been training and working as a conservationist in the area for decades, first as a soil conservationist in the late 1970s before becoming an area resource conservationist in the 1980s and ultimately making his way into his county supervisor position in 2014.
“His job entailed planning and providing technical assistance for good conservation practices, managing cost-share programs and helping farmers apply them,” wrote The Daily Nonpareil, adding that Kurth’s favorite part of the job was working with the farmers.
Sadly, Kurth’s death on the job places him in a large group involving similar accidents. A 2010 report from Purdue University revealed that, between 1964 and 2005, 74 percent of grain entrapments resulted in death, largely by suffocation. In fact, each year, dozens of people die in this manner.
Nevertheless, in 2013, 23-year-old Iowan Arick Baker made headlines after surviving a period of five hours trapped underneath 22,000 bushels of corn that was putting 450 pounds of pressure on his chest.
After making it out of the corn, Baker summarized the surprising dangers of grain entrapment to USA Today, saying, “My whole life I’ve been told that once you go down in a grain bin, you die.”
Next, read up on the woman recently boiled to death after falling into a vat of caramel in the confectionary factory where she worked. Then, discover the story of the London beer flood that killed eight and injured countless others.