February 11, 2015

11/02/2015: Farmer and five rescuers treated after silo accident in Australia

A farmer and five rescuers have been taken to hospital after the man was extricated from a grain silo, Australia's 9 News website reports.

The man, aged in his 60s, was trapped waist deep in barley inside the silo on his family's dairy farm at Axe Creek, east of Bendigo in central Victoria.

The man was trapped in the silo for up to two hours in 35C heat before family members raised the alarm.


Country Fire Authority regional operations officer Chris Jacobsen said with direct sunlight shining on the galvanised steel silo, temperatures inside reached 55C.

He was flown to Bendigo Hospital in a stable condition.

"When we removed the man he was able to wave to his family and walk a little way to the stretcher," Mr Jacobsen said.

"Often these (silo rescues) end in a different way, so it was great for everyone here and for the family of course.

"Even though we were rotating crews because of the heat, five CFA personnel have also been taken to hospital just for observation because they were working in there in overalls in the heat."

Up to 50 CFA and State Emergency Service personnel, including a specialist mine rescue team, paramedics, police and the farmer's relatives took about two hours to rescue the man.

They used an elevated platform and teams using ropes to extricate the man.

"He had been in there a long time. It's hot and in direct sunlight, so we were worried about dehydration and a thing called crush syndrome," Mr Jacobsen said.

"The blood below the level of the crush can turn acidic and it can release toxins and alter blood pressure, and if he's released too quickly it can be fatal.

"It was a great team effort to get him out safely."

WorkSafe is investigating the cause of the accident.

Read the article HERE.

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