A Nebraska YouTuber is being sued over the death of an electrician at his nuclear silo “doomsday bunker.”
The wife of Joseph Arkfeld, the deceased electrician, is suing YouTuber Andrew Flair and three of his companies.
Flair’s channel has 2.74 million subscribers and focuses on survival.
Arkfeld died while working on the decommissioned Atlas-F nuclear missile silo in York on December 20. His death was ruled to be an accident.
The Omaha World-Herald reports, “York County Sheriff Paul Vrbka said his office received a call around 8:26 p.m. that day saying a man was trapped between a steel door and a wall. When the police arrived, Joseph Arfkeld had died from internal injuries, Vrbka said. Foul play was not considered, and the death was ruled an accident.”
According to the lawsuit, Arkfeld was told to “lock the entry door” when he was leaving, a claim that Flair’s attorney has denied. The door was controlled using a battery-powered electric winch, which used a steel cable to open and close the door — which closed with over 2,000 pounds of force.
While Arkfeld was going through the door, it closed on him and crushed him to death.
“Joe spent several tortuous moments trapped and unable to free himself from the force of the door, likely terrified, knowing he was about to die,” the complaint says, according to the World-Herald report.
The door became inoperable, and a tow truck had to open it to recover Arkfeld’s body.
Arkfeld’s widow maintains that Flair knew the door was defective and that he had given her husband “inadequate instruction” on how to use it.
The complaint also cites Flair’s YouTube videos, in which he allegedly “mocked safety protocols and safe working conditions.”
Flair purchased the silo in 2022 and remodeled it to be a “doomsday bunker,” which he says was completed in February.
The YouTuber is now in the process of trying to sell the fully renovated silo for $750,000.
The World-Herald reports, “Death at this silo does not seem to be so uncommon. ‘Two of the construction workers died while they were building this,’ Flair said in a YouTube video posted nine days before Arkfeld died. The silo was constructed in 1962.”
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