UPDATE: Fire Chief talks about deadly grain bin accident - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Fire Chief talks about deadly grain bin accident

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UPDATE: Tonight, we are learning more about the victim of yesterday's tragic grain bin accident. 

Waterloo Police say 68-year-old Rand E. Renner of Waverly was working inside the bin, when he became trapped. According to ECI's website, Renner was the Cedar Falls location manager. 

Grain bin rescue calls are not something the Waterloo Fire Department get every day, but it's one the team trains for.  Waterloo Fire Chief Pat Treloar calls it a "high risk- low frequency call".

"It's one of those things that you have to specifically train for and keep in mind that the risks are high not only for the person or persons you are trying to rescue but also for the firefighters and rescue team who are also in there," he says. 

Sadly, it's a story we hear about often with grain bins. For hours, the team tried reaching ECI Co-op employee Rand Renner. Even a few Waterloo firefighters got minor injuries from getting trapped inside as well.

It was an emotional scene yesterday as employees heard that their beloved friend didn't make it. Treloar says that's also hard on the firefighters.

"After the event, we talked about it and made sure all of our guys were doing okay," he says. 

Making this just one of the many high risk calls they respond to.

"We need our individuals to work together as a team in unsafe conditions and that's the thing, we try to operate as safe as we can in unsafe conditions," he says. 

Treloar says all of the firefighters are thinking of Renner's family during this difficult time.  People on scene were shaking firefighters' hands and thanking them for their efforts.

OSHA will now take over the investigation. 



One person has died in a grain bin accident today off Broadway Street in Waterloo.

Emergency crews responded to the 1700 Block of Broadway Street, where they cut holes into the side of a grain bin.

CEO Randy Carlholm of ECI co-op says they are investigating the accident as a fatality at this time. He says it was an employee who was working inside the grain bin and got trapped.

Waterloo firefighters worked for hours to try to get the man out. A Waterloo Fire Captain told us a few firefighters also got trapped in the grain and were checked out, but will be okay. Grain bins can be very dangerous, almost acting like quicksand. 

We hope to learn more about the victim in the next few days. Carlholm says his name will not be released until all family members have been notified. 

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