Grain bunker rescue survivor shares his amazing story

CLARK COUNTY, Illinois (WAWV/WTWO) — Jason Sruder was rescued from a grain bunker on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 and lives to tell his story.

Jason Sluder has worked for Littlejohn Grain Inc. for the last five years and part of his job includes cleaning grain bins.

What started out as a typical day of trash clearing quickly turned into a rescue mission.

Sluder was cleaning the bin when he came across a large clump of beans and it was caused by a plug.

To break through the clumps, Sluder was walking on the beans.

“We were trying to unplug it, we tried to unplug it, but we got carried away with it,” Sladder said. “Thank God I had someone watching me on the doorstep,” Sladder added.

He said no augers or other equipment was on or running when he was trapped.

“There are sump holes that the beans fall into. Every time it got free, I was in front of one of them, and the auger filled up and sank to the floor.

As soon as the beans reached Sladder’s lap, he found himself in trouble.

“It doesn’t take long,” Sruder said. “I reached my upper thighs in just a few seconds,” he explained.

Luckily, he had two more pairs of eyes that day. One of his co-workers was inside the trash can with him, stationed by the door, while another co-worker was outside watching over the door.

“He (the colleague in the trash can) was actually looking at me, so I said to him, ‘Get the boss.

His colleague stayed with him in the trash until first responders arrived and began life-saving measures.

Despite the excruciating pain in his leg, Sladder remained calm.

Looking back at everyone’s reactions, Sruder chuckled. I was trying to keep my composure,” he pointed out.

Sluder explained that staying calm is the key to survival.

Sluder was surrounded by rescue tubes from all responding units. He helped rescuers by grabbing the head of a grain vacuum cleaner to maintain suction and remove beans from around it.

After being trapped for about five hours, Sluder was successfully removed from the grain bunker. He credits the quick response of his colleagues and first responders to saving his life. He said 90% of his extended family was there when he was pulled out of the bin.

“Thank you to all of them. Colleagues, first responders, crew, everyone. Without them, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. Grain bunker rescue survivor shares his amazing story

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