Basket collapse prompts multi-agency response

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Industrial accident results in air lifting of victim

Wheaton Fire District firefighters with assistance from two ambulance services responded Tuesday to an equipment collapse accident at an industrial operation one mile south of Wheaton.

A 911 call at 10:04 a.m. on Tuesday prompted a response to the Majestic Milling Company, a manufacturer of organic animal food at 13164 Farm Road 1005, south of Wheaton. RJK Construction of Liberal, a private contractor, was working on installing walls and a roof covering over machinery on the north side of the plant used to grind corn into rolled corn.

According to Isaac Schmidgall, one of the RJK owners, the elevated basket in which two men worked tipped over, dumping the men to the ground.

Mercy ambulance from Cassville arrived on the scene at 10:15 a.m. and asked for aid from the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District in Monett. Two Barry-Lawrence ambulances proceeded to the scene.

One victim, who received significant head injuries, was airlifted from the scene at 11:17 a.m. by Lifeline to a trauma center in Springfield. The other, who had a broken elbow, was transported by Barry-Lawrence to Joplin for treatment.

Mark Hudson, manager for Majestic Milling, said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) made a site visit the next day and had no issues with operations by the milling firm.

Schmidgall said the man with the head injuries was expected to leave the hospital this week. The worker with the broken elbow had already returned to light duty work.

“We’ve taken the accident very seriously,” Schmidgall said. “We’re working with OSHA and have taken steps to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.”

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