Detasselers Electrocuted

5:20 p.m. CDT, July 25, 2011 WHITESIDE COUNTY, Ill. — UPDATED: Two detasselers are confirmed dead and eight more injured in an electrocution accident in a Whiteside County field. The accident was reported just before 9 a.m. Monday, July 25, 2011. About 72 detasselers were working in a field on Luther Road south of Starr Road in rural Tampico, Illinois. Police say four detasselers who suffered the most-serious injuries were taken to an area hospital for treatment of their injuries. Two were later confirmed dead, and one was flown to a Rockford hospital and listed in critical condition. The other detasselers were first taken to a staging area at the Rock Falls Fire Department for evaluation. From there, they were either transported to an area hospital or released to a parent or guardian. A witness reported seeing multiple ambulances and emergency workers from more than a half-dozen towns responding to the Rock Falls Fire Department. Another witness who was working with the detasselers said he heard screams and he thinks those injured came in contact with an irrigator at the time of the accident. The witness said most of the detasselers working on the crew were high school-age students from Morrison, Sterling and Rock Falls. ComEd, Monsanto and OSHA are working to investigate exactly what happened. A counseling center was available Monday afternoon at the Rock Falls Community Building, 601 West Tenth Street. Counselors will also be on hand from 10 a.m. to noon at the Sterling High School library, at Rock Falls High School and at Morrison High School.

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