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Volunteer emergency teams rally together during tragedy; Rod McMinn pronounced dead PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 19:13

Area emergency response teams worked vigilantly to free Rodney ‘Rod’ McMinn, 51, of Wauneta from a bin of corn pellets at Wauneta Roller Mills last Wednesday.  The cause of McMinn’s death remains unknown.


Rodney ‘Rod’ McMinn, a long-time Wauneta resident, passed away Feb. 1.


Cause of death after accident at Wauneta Roller Mills unknown


By Sheri Hink

The Wauneta Breeze


Last Wednesday, Feb. 1, Wauneta community volunteers worked tirelessly in an attempt to save Rodney ‘Rod’ McMinn after he fell into a bin at Wauneta Roller Mills.

Emergency response teams including the Wauneta Volunteer Fire Department, EMTs, Chase County Clinic and Chase County Sherriff’s Office responded to a call for help from the Wauneta Roller Mills.

McMinn, long time employee of the Wauneta Roller Mills, had fallen into a bin of corn pellets. By the end of the day McMinn was pronounced dead.

Bystanders witnessed an amazing display of professionalism and efficiency as volunteer responders, co-workers and community members battled to rescue McMinn.

The Chase County Sheriff’s Office received a call at 2:33 p.m. stating that someone was trapped in a bin at the Roller Mills.

When department officials arrived at the Roller Mills the WVFD and EMS crew were already on site. Personnel from Frenchman Valley Co-op, Wauneta Co-op Oil and Village municipal workers were among those working frantically to empty the bin in order to free McMinn.

According to Chase County Sheriff Kevin Mueller, McMinn, 51, had been loading a truck with corn pellets when the auger became plugged.

Mueller reported that McMinn and the truck driver began working to unplug the auger by poking a rod up into the bin. When the effort to unplug the auger from below did not work McMinn went to the top of the bin to try to get the pellets moving.

The truck driver continued to try to loosen the pellets from the bottom of the bin. After some time went by, those working with the auger at the bottom of the bin went to check on McMinn.

When they arrived at the top of the bin it was discovered that McMinn had fallen into the bin.

The cause of his fall into the bin is unknown at this time. An autopsy has been ordered and is hoped to shed more light onto what caused McMinn’s death — the fall into the bin or some other cause prior to his fall.

The Wauneta Roller Mills was purchased from the Maxfield family last month by Rogan and Ashley Einspahr of Wauneta who were unable to comment on the incident due to pending insurance investigations.

“Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Rod’s family,” says the staff at the Roller Mills.

McMinn was a long time Wauneta resident, graduating from Wauneta High School in 1978. He worked at the Wauneta Roller Mills for over 20 years.

McMinn is survived by his wife, Patsy; parents: Clark and Donna McMinn and Phyllis and Carl Osthoff; sons: Christopher Baker, Jeremy Baker, Justin Baker, Kyle Baker and wife, Raelyn; grandchildren: Gabby Baker, Kylinn Baker, Hailea Baker, Tristin Baker, Ayden Baker, and Kirah Baker; brothers: Dan McMinn and wife, Janice, Ben McMinn, Kent McMinn and wife, Onista, Carl Osthoff; sisters: Rebecca Jo and husband, Randy Weldon, Kathleen and husband, John Boden, Kristine Osthoff, and Kalyn and husband, Paul Ritter.

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 February 2012 19:18