Worker dies in Creswell grain bin accident

Published 1:48 pm Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Occupational Safety and Health Division in the state Department of Labor has launched an investigation into a Creswell man’s death in a grain bin on July 29, a department spokeswoman said Tuesday morning.

No preliminary cause for the accident has been established, she added.

Elith Sosa, 50, became trapped in a grain silo around 9:30 a.m.

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Sosa was an employee at Lake Phelps Grain Inc. on NC Hwy 94 two miles west of Creswell, where the accident occurred, said Curtis Potter, Washington County manager.

Four teams of three took turns emptying the bin, which was filled with corn, and Sosa’s body was located around 3:45 p.m., more than six hours after he had been reported missing, the Associated Press reported.

It only takes about five seconds to become trapped in a grain bin, the AP report stated.

Emergency 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 Potter.

Potter was unsure whether an autopsy would be ordered.

Sosa, a Creswell resident, is survived by his wife and son.


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