NATIONAL NEWS

Negligence led to Mississippi grain bin death, officials say

Apr 20, 2023, 1:36 PM

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) — A South African teenage farm worker who suffocated to death after falling into a grain storage bin would still be alive had a Mississippi soybean farm followed federal workplace safety standards, inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined.

Bare Bones Farms, located in the Mississippi Delta town of Greenwood, violated federal law by failing to ensure workers wore full-body harnesses connected to a lifeline before four of them were engulfed by soybeans inside a storage bin in an October 2022 incident, the labor department said Wednesday. A 19-year-old South African farmworker, whose body wasn’t recovered for five hours, suffocated.

“Well-known safety standards that protect people from the grave dangers of working in grain bins have been in place for decades, and yet Bare Bones Farms jeopardized the lives of its employees by ignoring federal regulations,” said OSHA Area Director Courtney Bohannon in a Wednesday news release. “As a result, the life of a young man who traveled more than 8,500 miles to work in the U.S. ended tragically.”

The 19-year-old, two co-workers and their supervisor had climbed into a storage bin to unclog it, but the soybeans inside shifted and trapped them in seconds. Emergency responders cut a hole in the storage bin’s side to rescue the workers, but it took them five hours to find the deceased 19-year-old. The other workers survived.

In addition to the teenager, two other workers involved in the incident were South African citizens brought to work in Mississippi under the H-2A temporary agricultural workers visa program.

OSHA investigators also discovered the company failed to train employees on general safety precautions for entering storage bins, the labor department said. The agency has proposed over $90,000 in penalties for the violations.

A representative for Bare Bones Farms could not immediately be reached by phone for comment Thursday.

National News

Associated Press

Florida prepares for next round of rainfall after tropical storms swamped southern part of the state

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Forecasters warned Floridians to prepare for additional flash flooding after a tropical disturbance dumped as much as 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rainfall in the southern parts of the state, with worsening conditions expected Friday. The disorganized storm system was pushing across Florida from the Gulf of Mexico at roughly […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

1 of 2 abducted Louisiana children is found dead in Mississippi after their mother is killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said. A Louisiana resident who had dated the woman was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, in connection with the deaths and […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Ready to renew your US passport? You can now apply online

WASHINGTON (AP) — There’s an easier way to renew your passport — online. The State Department has opened a trial run allowing a limited number of people to apply for their updated travel documents with a few clicks. You can’t just start anytime — windows will open at midday Eastern time each day and then […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

You don’t think corn dogs are haute cuisine? These chefs, using alligator sausage, beg to differ.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Stefani De Palma, an award-winning chef and head of the a team vying to represent the Americas in a French culinary competition in January, knew she wanted her team’s work to feature flavors of her native California. The challenge at the Bocuse d’Or Americas competition this week in New Orleans was […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Attorney charged in voting machine tampering case announces run for Michigan Supreme Court

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An attorney charged in connection with an effort to illegally access and tamper with voting machines in Michigan after the 2020 election said Thursday that he’s running for the state’s high court. Republican Matthew DePerno, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, made the announcement on the social platform X. “After […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

North Carolina judges grapple with defining ‘fair’ elections in redistricting suit

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina judges deciding whether a redistricting lawsuit claiming a state constitutional right to “fair” elections can go to trial questioned Thursday their ability to scrutinize district boundaries that way or to define what “fair” means. A panel of three trial judges listened to arguments on a motion by Republican legislative […]

10 hours ago

Negligence led to Mississippi grain bin death, officials say