By Leigh Johnston
A 49-year-old man has died after a crane came into contact with a powerlines. Two other men, believed to be the deceased’s co-workers, are also in hospital.
At 9am yesterday, in Little Mulgrave 37km south of Cairns, the deceased passed away at the scene while being treated by paramedics. A co-worker was taken to Cairns Hospital in a critical condition, having suffered severe burns from the incident.
Late on Sunday afternoon, police, Ergon Energy workcrews, a workplace health and safety inspector and vehicles from the affected sugar-growing company were still on site assessing the scene of the incident.
A third man was also in hospital, suffering from emotional stress. The two men in hospital, aged 63 and 54, were both reported to be in a stable condition, reports the Australian.
The 63-year-old is expected to be transferred to Brisbane.
The Queensland Office of Industrial Relations released a statement saying that it had heard of an incident on Sunday and had dispatched inspectors to attend the scene and prepare a report.
“Inspectors from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and Electrical Safety Office are conducting inquires in relation to this matter,” the statement said.
It is believed the incident happened while the workers were laying down sugar cane train tracks, when the crane accidentally hit powerlines.
The scene was witnessed by a local resident, who discussed her account with the ABC.
“We came home and I saw the crane there and our power cut out when I was cooking breakfast and my son had yelled out that they’re hurt,” the woman said.
“I heard screams. I went straight down there and we commenced first aid, CPR, the best we could do but unfortunately, the tragic accident happened.”
The witness said she’d seen the workers for several weeks, replacing tracks for the sugar cane train. The sugar cane train transports sugar cane to the juice and sugar mills to be processed.
“I think there was one man guiding the train tracks carried by the crane, from my point of view of what we’d heard and seen,” she said.
“He [the crane driver] had a shock from when the crane had hit and the other man had gone to his rescue and received the other shock.”