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  1. #1
    Senior Member frankie boy is on a distinguished road
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    update: 2 IL girls die in farm accident

    OSHA investigating farm accident that killed two teen girls

    11:38 a.m. CDT, July 26, 2011


    Representatives of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are in northwestern Illinois today, continuing an investigation into the electrocution deaths Monday of two 14-year-old girls working in a cornfield.

    According to spokesperson Rhonda Burke in the agency’s Chicago office, OSHA representatives were in Tampico yesterday as well after Jade Garza and Hannah Kendall, both of Sterling, died after coming in contact with a field irrigator while working at removing tassels from corn. A Facebook page has been created to remember the two girls.

    The two were among 72 contract workers for Monsanto Corp. who were working the field at that time, according to a release from the St. Louis-based corporation. The release said the two were "electrically shocked by a center pivot irrigation system" and that other workers in the area also reported feeling the shock.

    Two others were seriously injured in the accident. One was airlifted to St. Anthony's Hospital in Rockford in critical condition. The other was being treated at CGH Medical Center. Authorities did not give the names and ages of the other victims. Updates on their conditions were not available today.

    Six workers were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

    Tristen Dudley, 13, of Rock Falls told Sauk Valley Media he was one of the workers who saw the girls being electrocuted. He said several others tried to help them.

    "I heard them yelling. I went over to help," Dudley said. "I didn't do anything because I would have been sucked in."

    Dudley said the field was filled with water, which conducts electricity.

    "It was like a pond," he said.

    The newspaper also reported that Kendall and Garza were best friends who would have been freshmen at Sterling High School in the fall.

    Monsanto Director of Corporate Affairs Tom Helscher said today that the company has no de-tasselers in the field today in that area.

    "It's cautionary," company spokesman Mark Cavenaile said Monday. "We've never had an incident like this before."

    Cavenaile said more than 1,000 people have been working for Monsanto this summer. They receive training and are told to walk around irrigation systems.

    According to Department of Labor Youth Employment laws for farm jobs, 12-and-13-year-olds can work farm jobs of this nature with parental consent, 14- and 15-year-olds can work non-hazardous farm jobs outside school hours, and 16-year-olds can work any farm job.

    The release from Monsanto included this statement from company CEO Hugh Grant: "I am saddened by this terrible accident and loss. We place the highest priority on the safety of our contractors and employees; our greatest concern at this time is the well being of the family and friends of those involved in today’s devastating accident. Our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of these individuals. We express our sincere condolences to the family of the deceased and those affected by the incident, and we ask that everyone respect their needs at this time."

    According to the release, the company will offer counseling to family and friends of those involved in the accident.

    OSHA's Burke said that the accident investigation could take up to six months to complete.

    Associated Press contributed.

  2. #2
    Senior Member villageidiot is on a distinguished road
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    I have a brother living in sterling, will have to call him to see if he has any information. His son has detasselled, as for as I know was going to be again this year.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ECI is on a distinguished road ECI's Avatar
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    That is just to damn sad ! wish I had not got on here . Ken

  4. #4
    Senior Member dennis1 is on a distinguished road
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    So sad!
    We saw lots of acres that had been de-tasseled on our "trip' to and from Sioux Falls this past week end...lots of
    school buses Friday when I finally figured out what was going on.

  5. #5
    Senior Member greengold is on a distinguished road
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    we have 3 center pivots...i am at a complete loss as to how these girls would have recieved that much juice unless they were right on top of the 3-phase and that is always near the well and pivot...it just don't add up....still a damn shame though

  6. #6
    Senior Member verbatime is on a distinguished road verbatime's Avatar
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    That is to bad and I hate to hear it. Sounds like someone is trying to cover their butt by saying they were told go around the pivot. Of course they are told to walk around irrigation systems if the tires are in the rows they are walking in. Are they told not to touch the irrigation systems... of course not.

  7. #7
    Senior Member verbatime is on a distinguished road verbatime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greengold View Post
    we have 3 center pivots...i am at a complete loss as to how these girls would have recieved that much juice unless they were right on top of the 3-phase and that is always near the well and pivot...it just don't add up....still a damn shame though

    Sounds like a faulty ground.

  8. #8
    Senior Member r3020 is on a distinguished road r3020's Avatar
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    2 of my boys were detasseling today in a field with irrigation. My one boy walked under it and was told by the crew leader not to do that because it is dangerous. I never give it a thought before.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bentoncofarmer is on a distinguished road
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    We were told that they think lightning struck the pivot possibly causing some type of a short. kids just trying to earn a buck, so sad.

  10. #10
    Senior Member greengold is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentoncofarmer View Post
    We were told that they think lightning struck the pivot possibly causing some type of a short. kids just trying to earn a buck, so sad.
    we have lightning strike our pivots all the time...in fact every spring we need to replace fuses on at least one of our pivots...i don't see how this could have caused a short though. like verb said...faulty ground maybe but you would have thought that somebody would have gotten drilled before these girls...i mean it was dry and hot...your telling me that they weren't running those pivots and that somebody wasn't at that pivot turing it on or checking the dripper or pipes? how did they not get electrocuted?

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