The two men killed after they were buried under 20 to 25 feet of grain in a grain elevator were both employed by Gavilon Grain, the company confirmed in a written statement.
Gavilon Grain said it was an unfortunate accident that led to the fatality of two of their workers.
The fatal incident was reported just before 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
The men were recovered about three hours later from the lower-middle of a 120- to 140-foot-tall concrete grain elevator at Gavilon Grain’s facility in Wichita.
Immediate family members of both workers have been notified, but the identities of the men have not been made public.
“Our immediate concern is on caring for the families of the workers, conducting our internal investigation and cooperating with the appropriate authorities in their investigation of the incident,” the statement said.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.
OSHA warns that moving grain acts like quicksand and can engulf a person in 22 seconds. Because of the danger, OSHA requires that workers who enter a grain bin wear a body harness with a lifeline.
Gavilon is headquartered in Omaha and provides storage and handling for both customers and suppliers worldwide. The company employs about 1,900 people at nearly 300 locations.
The site of the incident, near 55th South and Hoover Road, is formerly known as DeBruce Grain.
DeBruce Grain merged with Gavilon Grain in 2010. The DeBruce Grain elevator exploded in 1998, killing seven employees and injuring 10.
Since then, most of the grain workers who have died in the United States were killed in single-fatality accidents.
In 2016, the most recent set of data available, there were 29 documented grain-entrapment cases – 11 of which were fatal – according to a study by Purdue University. Each case represents an individual.
The majority of grain entrapment cases occurred in the Midwest, according to the report.