Victims in Fatal Grain Bin Accident Overcome by Gasses

By Jeff Reinitz, The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

WAVERLY, Iowa - A man and his son who were found unconscious inside a grain bin at the family milling plant Thursday were apparently overcome by gasses, authorities said.

"It was an atmosphere situation. And we don't know what the gas was at this point," said Dennis Happel, chief of the Waverly Volunteer Fire Department. He said autopsies are pending.

Firefighters were called to Schneider's Milling Inc., 3601 E. Bremer Road, after Rick Schneider and his son, Adam, were discovered inside a bin Thursday afternoon.

Happel said the two were atop about 8 feet of grain, and crews had to cut through the wall to remove them. There were taken to Waverly Health Center, where they were pronounced dead.

"The story we were getting was they were both in there at the same time working, doing a repair from the day before," Happel said.

He said he had heard one version of the story was the two were checking damage from a Wednesday fire, but he said the Waverly department wasn't called for a fire at the facility that day. Crews also didn't notice any obvious fire damage during Thursday rescue operation.

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