An Israeli dairy farmer was killed when he got caught in his cattle feed grinder at dawn on Wednesday, his neighbors tell TheBlaze.
The horrific incident occurred at about 5:30 a.m. on Moshav Ramat Tzvi in the Gilboa region when the 49-year-old father of four, was carrying out his morning round of feeding his dairy cows.
Pinhas Arbel, who heads the council of the farming community and is himself a dairy farmer, told TheBlaze in a telephone interview that he saw his neighbor early in the morning as he was preparing the food for his cattle.
When he was returning from working his own farm, Arbel said he passed his neighbor’s tractor. “The tractor was on but the driver wasn’t there,” Arbel said.
“Every morning we prepare our food. We have a tractor to which a mixing wagon is attached. Like a blender, we put in all the ingredients. It mixes it and we then give it to the cows,” Arbel explained.
“We looked for him and we called his brother to drive the tractor to its destination. Then someone else checked the cart and saw pieces of clothing ground up. They realized it was probably him inside. There wasn’t even a small piece left,” Arbel recounted of the frightful incident.
Another neighbor, Uzi Dublin, told TheBlaze “The tractor was on, we didn’t know why…we saw the tractor was on and its owner wasn’t there.”
“We don’t know exactly what happened,” Dublin who is also a dairy farmer said.
Police are now investigating the death, but neighbors say it was most likely a work accident.
“It’s hard to climb up there, but that’s the direction of the investigation,” Arbel said.
“We have no idea what happened, how, why he climbed on it. Maybe he heard a strange noise and wanted to check,” Dublin speculated.
The death has stunned neighbors and friends.
“The lesson is, don’t ever climb on equipment while it’s on. Don’t ever go on equipment while it’s working. That’s true for every piece of equipment,” Arbel said. “Don’t ever check it while it’s on. There can always be a surprise that’s unexpected.”
Dublin echoed that warning to others. “The most important thing is to do what is written on every warning sticker on every tractor. When you get off, turn every machine off. That’s the main lesson here.”
TheBlaze has been told the name of the farmer but is refraining from publishing it until next of kin have been informed.
“This is terrible death of a dear man…whose entire life was devoted to raising dairy cattle,” Arbel said.