Death in a vat of ink
Worker killed, two injured in bizarre factory accident
ONE man died and another was seriously injured when the “mixing arm” inside an ink vat crushed them at a western Sydney factory yesterday.
A third man was injured when he jumped in to try to save his workmates.
The two men had been inside cleaning the vat when the arm spontaneously moved, trapping them in the tank at the DIC Australia factory on Chisholm Rd, Auburn at 8.45am.
Ambulance, police and NSW Fire and Rescue crews arrived and began a complicated and difficult operation to rescue the men who were covered in ink.
The 28-year-old man who tried to free the men was helped out a manhole with leg injuries but it took emergency crews two hours to free the second man, aged 29, who also had injuries to his legs.
“The third person to go in was rending assistance so he was easily removed,” NSW Ambulance Superintendent Paul Turner said.
“It was two hours before the second person was released. The mechanism itself was quite difficult to try to release so we could save these poor guys.”
The body of the last man to be retrieved, a contractor understood to be in his 40s, was then removed and his family informed of the tragedy. One of the injured men was released from Westmead Hospital last night while the other remained there in a stable condition.
Police will prepare a report for the coroner while SafeWork NSW will also investigate why the machine started, or moved, while the men were inside.
Rescuers battled to free three workers from an ink vat at an Auburn factory. Main picture: Peter Rae