Two brothers smothered by grain

August 29, 2008 4:27:34 AM PDT
Two young brothers died when they were sucked beneath a load of grain that was being unloaded from a trailer western Canada, police said Thursday. The boys, ages 5 and 7, were on top of a trailer carrying grain that was being unloaded by a family member on Wednesday about 99 miles northeast of Grande Prairie, Alberta, police Sgt. Ged Dentinger said.

"These types of trailers, there's a chute underneath. It comes into a hopper (a mechanism to control the flow of materials) and at the base of the hopper there's a sliding trap door that opens to unload these trailers, so they unload very rapidly," Dentinger said.

Family members soon realized the boys had been pulled under and found them about five minutes later. But the boys and were pronounced dead shortly after, smothered by the grain, police said.

Their names were not released.

"It's not uncommon for children to be on top of such farming equipment, watching as the grain is unloaded," Dentinger said.

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