Authorities are investigating after a man had his leg partially severed while unloading a truck at a New South Wales coal terminal.
Paramedics were called to the Port Kembla Coal Terminal near Wollongong following reports the man in his 40s had been run over by a semi-trailer while unloading coal early on Thursday morning.
- A man unloading coal at Port Kembla ran after a semi-trailer when it started to roll
- He fell down and was run over by both the prime mover and the trailer
- He was airlifted to St George Hospital with serious but non life-threatening injuries
He was treated at the scene for serious leg injuries before being airlifted in a serious condition to St George Hospital in Sydney.
“The man obviously won’t die from this, however I have concerns that his leg is significantly damaged,” New South Wales Ambulance District Inspector Terry Morrow said.
“It would take a miracle for surgeons to put his leg back together.”
‘Run over on a number of occasions’
Mr Morrow said the man was unloading coal into a chute at the terminal when the truck started to roll away.
“He ran after the truck to try and stop it,” he said.
“He got knocked to the ground and both bogie wheels of the semi-trailer ran over his lower left leg.
“The truck’s run over the leg on a number of occasions — the bogie wheels of both the prime mover and the next semi have run over his leg.
“That has rotated [the leg repeatedly], so it’s pulled the muscle fairly significantly.”
According to first responders at the scene, the man was trapped underneath the truck for some time while paramedics worked to free his leg.
“He was trapped between the truck and the coal chute,” Mr Morrow said.
“We went underneath the semi-trailer with our medical equipment and stabilised the patient.
“We had to put an arterial tourniquet on because there was massive bleeding to the lower leg.”
‘Investigators to seek eyewitness accounts
SafeWork New South Wales has commenced an investigation into the cause of the incident.
The authority’s spokeswoman Lisa Foley said witnesses are being interviewed at the terminal.
“We’ve deployed a team of inspectors, they’re site now [and] are currently working with New South Wales Police and Port Kembla Coal Terminal representatives to get to the root cause of what happened,” Ms Foley said.
“We also need to speak to any witnesses available plus look at the plant and equipment that was involved to figure out what occurred.”
In response to the incident, union bosses have unanimously voted to put a wo