Three teenagers became trapped in the grain bin Wednesday morning. Only one was rescued. That victim remains in serious condition. The accident took place in Mt. Carroll, Ill., about 55 miles southwest of Rockford.
"All the farmers just dropped what they were doing and came in with their semis and tractors," said Jason Johns, Mt. Carroll resident.
Residents say grain bin accidents happen once or twice a year but never has one of this magnitude taken place. So when the news got out that three teenagers working at Consolidated Grain and Barge for the summer were stuck in a 500,000 bushel bin dozens mobilized, along with emergency workers from all over the region. They hoped to find them alive.
"They were in the bin...they were trying to break through...to get the corn to come out and that's when things fell through," said said Lee Behrems, resident.
Emergency workers punched holes in the bin draining it of grain in an effort to get to the teenagers but the heat made rescue efforts difficult as workers had to continually rotate out. Nearly six hours after the fist 911 call was made, one of the three teenagers was found alive and airlifted to Rockford. But that was the only rescue to happen. The two remaining teens, including a 15-year-old, did not make it.
"He's a great frisbee player. I used to play with him all the time. A very loving guy. He was always a good friend. Mess with somebody that was his friend, he'd mess with them," said Aron Hayward, friend of the one of the victims.
"It's a small community. It's bad if they lose somebody, if they get injured, it is bad what the family has to go through. It is tough," said Behrems.
ABC7 is not able to release the names of the teens yet, but the survivor that was airlifted to Rockford is still in serious condition. He graduated from West Carroll High last year. Of the two deceased, one graduated this year as well, and the other one would have been a sophomore this coming year.