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Marion County farmer dies in grain bin

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Landmark News Service

A Marion County man was killed after he became trapped in a grain bin at 911 Merrimac Road in Bradfordsville around 3:40 p.m. Wednesday.

Joseph Gary Blanford, 64, of Holy Cross, had climbed into the bin to attempt to unclog the auger when the soybeans caved in on top of him, causing him to be buried in the soybeans, according to a press release from the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office.

Blanford was pronounced dead by Taylor County Coroner Terry Dabney at the scene. Dabney said Blanford died as a result of asphyxia.

“This gentleman accidentally fell into the middle of the grain bin and was unable to rescue himself,” Dabney said. “It was like falling in quicksand. The person that found him was unable to rescue him, and death was imminent. I’ve been coroner for 46 years, and it’s the first accident of this nature that I’ve encountered. It was a very unusual situation from A to Z; something I’ve never seen, and I hope I never see again.”

Dabney added that Blanford was an experienced farmer.

“He was well-versed in farming and well-versed in grain bins, and he knew what he was doing. It was just an accident,” Dabney said.

Emergency personnel worked for six hours to remove Blanford from the bin, and crews from Taylor and Marion counties, as well as Campbellsville and Lebanon were on the scene to assist. Dabney said Blanford was removed from the bin around 9:45 p.m. Wednesday. Dabney said he did not know the size of the grain bin, but he described it as very large. He said a ladder truck from Marion County had to be used in the process.

According to the release, removal was difficult due to the stability of the beans and the oxygen levels inside the bin.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing, according to the release.