Brothers die when one tries to rescue the other from silo

Jessie Higgins
Two brothers died in a silo accident Saturday in Minnesota. Photo provided by Burlington Fire Department
Two brothers died in a silo accident Saturday in Minnesota. Photo provided by Burlington Fire Department

EVANSVILLE, Ind., Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Two brothers died over the weekend after one tried to rescue the other from a silo.

Curt Boesl, 47, was working Saturday with his 11-year-old son, Alex, atop a silo at their farm in Brandon, Minn., when the two "were apparently overcome by fumes," according to a Douglas County Sheriff's Office news release. The fumes might have come from silage fermenting in the bin.


Another son saw what happened and called 911. He also called his uncle, Steven Boesl, 49.

Steven Boesl, who served on the nearby Millersville Fire Department, arrived before emergency responders. He entered the silo to rescue his brother and nephew, but he was also overcome by fumes.

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The bin in which the Boesls were working contained silage, which are plants stored in airtight conditions to feed animals over the winter. Silage can emit gases that become trapped in large, enclosed bins, according to Penn State University.

"Silo gas is formed through the natural fermentation process of chopped forages shortly after it is placed in the silo," according to PennState Extension.

"Although injuries and fatalities caused by silo gases may not occur as often as other kinds of farm incidents, they are and will continue to be a very real hazard for as long as silage remains a common livestock feed."

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After Millersville Fire Department rescuers arrived, they extricated the two men and the boy. Steven Boesl was pronounced dead at the scene, and Curt Boesl and his son were flown to local hospitals, where Curt Boesl later died.

Alex Boesl was being treated at Minneapolis Children's Hospital. Officials did not have an update on his condition Monday.

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