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Police Identify Man Who Was Killed After Falling Into Utica Silo

Utica firefighters work to free a man who fell into a silo and became buried in cottonseed at Harbor Point Minerals 5-11-11.

Utica, NY (WIBX) – The man who died after falling into a silo at Harbor Point Minerals this morning has been identified at 24-year-old Craig Bernier of Mohawk.

The incident began at around 8:40 this morning when Bernier apparently fell out of his tether and into the silo filled with cottonseed. Despite the efforts of co-workers, firefighters and DWP workers, the man continued to sink into the seed, fire chief Russ Brooks said.

The silo wall was smashed in at three locations to allow the seed to flow out and allow fire officials an opportunity to gain entry and locate the victim.

Officials were able to locate Bernier shortly before noon, however, he was unresponsive at that time, UPD Sergeant Steven Hauck said.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is investigating the incident from a workplace safety standpoint, Brooks said. Utica police are also conducting an investigation, he said.

There has been a very difficult week for many Utica firefighters who not only dealt with today’s accident, but were also at the scene of Monday’s fire on Schuyler Street that left a mother and three children dead.

Counseling services are available to firefighters, Brooks said. The fire chief also publicly commended city DPW workers who assisted at the scene working side by side with the fire department, he said.

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