Man recuperating from Kendall County grain bin accident - FOX 10 News |

Man recuperating from Kendall County grain bin accident

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NEWARK, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The bed is in a hospital, the leg in a cast, but there is a smile on the face of Robert Blatti.

That’s the good news contained in the photograph of Blatti, 24, of Newark, who was injured Wednesday afternoon in a grain bin accident at Grainco FS, Inc., at Helmar Road and Route 47 south of Yorkville.

The smile in the photo, which was posted Thursday on Blatti’s Facebook page, would indicate he is recuperating nicely at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where he was airlifted after his foot was caught in an augur inside a grain bin, the Aurora Beacon-News is reporting.

Emergency responders spent about five hours freeing Blatti, not only extricating him but saving him from being crushed by the grain inside the bin, according to officials from the Bristol-Kendall Fire Department.

A news release from Bristol-Kendall said when emergency workers first arrived about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, they found Blatti “with his lower extremities stuck in the auger system with corn surrounding his body up to his thighs,” and “with additional grain towering 30 feet into the air angling towards him.”

“The initial rescuers attached a safety harness to the victim and placed a grain rescue tube around him to prevent additional corn from further burying him,” the release said.

Bristol-Kendall Chief Mike Hitzemann said at the scene that the danger of getting stuck in a grain bin is the pressure the corn puts on a person’s lungs. The person does not have to be buried over his head — if the person is up to his chest in the corn, it can make it impossible to breathe, he said.

Bristol-Kendall originally responded with three engines, two ambulances, one aerial truck, one heavy rescue and three chief officers. The Newark Fire Department automatically responded with a medic unit.

Almost immediately, emergency workers called for the Gold Combined Agency Response Team, or CART, which is a cooperative between Bristol-Kendall, Oswego and Sandwich fire departments.

Later, there was a request from specialized equipment from the Orange CART, which includes Joliet and Plainfield.

The city of Yorkville also assisted with its vactor truck, which was used to suck the corn out of the corn bin. Companies involved with the augur system in which Blatti was stuck – Hogan Walker and Kane Equipment – sent people to render technical assistance.

Blatti was conscious and talking to emergency workers the entire time. He was airlifted to Good Samaritan because of its Level 1 trauma center.

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