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Woman who died after fall inside grain elevator was U of M student

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The woman who died after falling inside the Bunge grain elevator over the weekend was identified as a student at the University of Minnesota.

Emily Roland, 20, was with two of her friends climbing near the top of the 140-foot grain elevator when she fell off a ladder, through a wooden floor and then fell another three floors into a steel bin, WCCO and the Star Tribune report.

On Monday, both Roland's family and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner both publicly identified the 20-year-old as the victim.

The medical examiner ruled the manner of her death an accident, the cause being "multiple blunt force injuries."

Rescue crews had to be lowered into a hole to reach her, the fire department said. It took crews over 90 minutes to rescue her from the abandoned building.

Roland's friends told KSTP she was a sweet, kind and beautiful person.

According to the University of Minnesota's website, Roland, of Cottage Grove, enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts in the Fall of 2014.

People who knew her shared their condolences on social media:

Roland is the second University of Minnesota student to die in the Bunge grain elevator in the past decade. In 2006, Germain Vigeanta was exploring grain elevator when she fell 100 feet and died.

The grain elevator, located at 937 13th Ave. SE, was built in 1936 and has become a visual landmark in the Como neighborhood. It was abandoned in 2003, the City of Minneapolis says, and in the years since there have been plans to turn the tower into a residential development and an indoor climbing gym, the Minnesota Daily reported.

The vacant tower has become a popular place for urban explorers in recent years, Bridgeland News reported. But trespassing to explore these abandoned towers throughout the city can be dangerous.

In the wake of this weekend's incident, the property's owners – Project for Pride in Living, which has been hoping to redevelop the site into affordable housing – says it is "saddened to learn of the tragic accident" and it continues to work with the city on the next phase of the site, "whether redevelopment or demolition," KSTP notes.

The Minneapolis Fire Department continues to urge people to stay away from abandoned grain elevators in the city because they can be dangerous.

“No matter what the property owners or the city does to solidify the vacant building and close it up, there’s ways people go in. It’s very dangerous. There’s holes in floor, windows can fall out and there’s no safe way to completely secure this building,” Deputy Chief Todd White of the Minneapolis Fire Department told WCCO.

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