Crews work to recover body of worker crushed in silo collapse



ROY, Wash. - Dangerous work is under way to recover the body of a worker who was crushed when a silo collapsed.

He was crushed under a pile of corn spilled from a collapsed 50-ton silo at Wilcox Farms in Roy about 3 p.m. Monday and is presumed dead.

Rescue workers said two men were working next to the silo that spilled tons and tons of corn onto them.

The collapse damaged two other silos and another building, making any rescue attempt another fatal accident waiting to happen.

South Pierce Fire and Rescue Chief Bob Vellias said there's a plan in place to stabilize the scene with cranes and other equipment.

“After we get stabilization of the silos, we're going to vacuum the corn away and take it off site and hopefully uncover the co-worker,” said Vellias.

That will take help from about 50 workers from around Pierce County, and may not even be done by sunset Tuesday.

An owner of the farm was visibly shaken by the accident.

“We treat our entire employees like family members, so it's real concerning and real sad,” said Brent Wilcox.

No one is even guessing at the cause of the collapse until the recovery is complete.

The owner walked away from reporters when asked about safety concerns, and KIRO 7 Eyewitness News obtained two reports of safety violations in the last year and a half.

Each violation included failure to put a proper accident prevention program in place.

PDF: Wilcox Farms safety and health inspection, March 2012 

PDF: Wilcox Farms safety and health inspection, June 2013