Worker with arm trapped in conveyor belt at Utica ag facility freed by firefighters

Woman’s injuries considered critical, but not life-threatening

A woman was taken by Utica ambulance to a Life Flight helicopter Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, after she was extricated from a conveyer belt about 40 feet above the ground at the Corteva AgriScience facility, north of Utica.

A 25-year-old woman was trapped and then extricated from an industrial conveyor at the Corteva AgriScience facility in Utica.

Her injuries are to her arm, below the forearm area, and they are considered critical, but not life-threatening, Utica Fire Chief Ben Brown said. The fire chief said she was alert and talking when she was loaded into the ambulance.

Fire responders were dispatched about 3:15 p.m. Friday to the agribusiness on Route 178, north of Interstate 80, in Utica.

The woman was extricated about 4 p.m. from a metal conveyor perched about 40 feet above the ground. Firefighters used a ladder truck to reach the victim and a small team of firefighters could be observed, from a distance, trying to free the woman.

Firefighters freed a woman who was trapped in a conveyer belt about 40 feet above the ground at a Utica agricultural facility.

She was taken by Utica ambulance from the site at 4:12 p.m. to a Life Flight helicopter, where she was taken to a regional hospital. The scene was cleared about 4:45 p.m.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police were the first to respond to the site. Firefighters from La Salle, Peru and Oglesby also were called to assist.

“Our focus right now is on the safety and wellbeing of our employee,” Corteva AgriScience said in a statement. “We can confirm that the employee was injured on our Utica site. The employee was transported to a local hospital and is being cared for by medical staff. We have shut down operations and are investigating the situation. We will provide an update as soon as we know more.”

A Life Flight helicopter leaves the scene in Utica on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, after a woman was extricated from an industrial conveyer belt.