State releases findings on grain bin death

Published 1:15 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Occupational Safety and Health Division in the state Department of Labor has released preliminary findings in a Creswell man’s death in a grain bin on July 29.

Elith Trinidad-Sosa, 49, was reported missing in a grain silo around 9:30 a.m.

He was an employee at Lake Phelps Grain Inc. on NC Hwy 94 two miles west of Creswell, where the accident occurred.

Trinidad-Sosa became engulfed when he ascended a 13-foot-deep pile of corn in the center as he was preparing to clean out the bin, a state Department of Labor spokesperson explained.

Four teams of three took turns emptying the bin, which was filled with corn, and Trinidad-Sosa’s body was located around 3:45 p.m.

It only takes about five seconds to become trapped in a grain bin, the Associated Press reported.

Fire-rescue crews brought to the scene a tube designed to speed rescues inside grain silos. However, the person inside must be located before the tube is employed.

Washington County sheriff’s officers, Washington-Tyrrell EMS, Washington County Emergency Management, and firefighters from Creswell, Mid-County, Plymouth, Pungo, Elizabeth City, and Tyrrell County responded to the scene and aided in the recovery, according to Washington County manager Curtis Potter.

Trinidad-Sosa, a Creswell resident, was a native of Oaxaca, Mexico. His wife Eneida and son Yahir Trinidad of the home survive. He was a member of the Columbia Missionary Baptist Church.