19-year-old trapped in silo for nearly 3 hours listed in serious condition

Rescue workers from Washington County Special Operations and Fort Detrick in Frederick County, Md., climbed into the silo to retrieve Andrew Horst

July 17, 2013|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Concerned neighbors watch as rescue personnel maneuver to rescue a man injured inside a silo on a Lehmans Mill Road farm Tuesday.
By Kevin G. Gilbert / Staff Photographer

A rescue operation for a 19-year-old man trapped in a silo Tuesday off Lehmans Mill Road north of Hagerstown ended after nearly three hours, when the victim was placed in a basket and hoisted through the top of the structure.

Longmeadow Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Jason Eckstine said Andrew Horst, who had been trapped inside the silo after falling at about 10:30 a.m., was flown by a Maryland State Police helicopter to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

He was listed in serious condition Wednesday morning, said a hospital spokeswoman.

It appeared Horst suffered a broken leg and some lacerations, according to Lt. Mike Fluharty of the Maryland State Police.

Eckstine said rescue workers from Washington County Special Operations and Fort Detrick in Frederick County, Md., climbed into the silo and loaded Horst in a basket.

He said ropes were used to hoist Horst and the basket to the top of the silo, where they were maneuvered outside, then placed on a firetruck ladder. The ladder was lowered to the ground, and Horst was flown out at about 1:30 p.m.


Emergency personnel conducted the operation in temperatures at or exceeding 90 degrees.

One emergency worker was taken to Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown to be treated for heat exhaustion, Eckstine said.

He said incident scene commanders rotated rescue crews to prevent them from becoming heat casualties.

A white canopy was set up to provide shade for those who needed it, and fluids were passed out to rescuers taking a break.

The silo in the 20200 block of Lehmans Mill Road contained chopped corn and hay that are known to emit hazardous gases, according to Eckstine. When Horst fell, he landed on the contents of the silo about 30 to 40 feet from the structure’s base.

As the rescue operation was under way, men wearing harnesses climbed into a cherry picker-type basket and were lifted to the opening on top of the silo.

Eckstine said three rescue workers already were inside with Horst, and three ropes were dropped into the silo. He said rescuers were giving Horst oxygen.

“We’re just taking precautions and making sure we have the proper equipment to make the rescue,” Eckstine said during the early stages of the rescue.

He said that as of 11:40 a.m., there were 45 rescue workers from Maryland and Pennsylvania on the scene.

Staff writer Kaustuv Basu contributed to this story.

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