From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Clumps of moldy corn crashed down around Lael Steinhoff, burying him above his waist for more than three hours before rescue workers could free him from a grain bin on his western Iowa farm.

Steinhoff, 61, was one of the lucky survivors last year when a record number of grain bin accidents were recorded as U.S. farmers continued to increase production and deal with storage of a wet crop from 2009.

A Purdue University report showed 51 grain bin accidents last year, up from 38 in 2009 and the most since tracking began in 1978. Twenty-five people died, and five of them were children under age 16. The previous record for grain bin accidents was 42 in 1993.

The accidents prompted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to send letters this week to 10,000 grain bin operators across the U.S. telling them they are responsible for preventing the deaths of their workers in grain bins.

Record number of grain bin accidents in 2010