Man 'lucky not to lose arm' in harvester
LATEST: A Temuka man was lucky he did not lose an arm when it became caught in a harvester in Mid-Canterbury today.
The man, who works for Pye Partnership, was working on a potato planter at a property in Farquhars Rd, Barrhill, when his arm became caught in the feeder mechanism of the harvester about 1pm.
A Westpac rescue helicopter spokesman said the 61-year-old man was "very, very lucky" he did not lose his arm and credited the quick response of the tractor driver.
"He was on top of a potato harvester, which was being pulled by a tractor. His mate was the driver. He saw him disappear out of the view of the mirror and he stopped straight away."
Had the tractor driver continued driving the man could have lost an arm as he could not have freed himself, he said.
"His mate was pretty upset," the spokesman said.
The man was trapped by his arm for about 30 minutes before being extricated by fire and ambulance crews from Methven, he said.
The man suffered back and arm injuries.
"He ended up bent over backwards with his arm rotated 90 degrees up into the auger. He bent his arm right back into that, but he's got more back than arm injuries," the spokesman said.
The man was flown to Christchurch Hospital.
A hospital spokeswoman said the man was in a stable condition.
A family spokesman said the injured man came from a farming background.
His wife was on the way to Christchurch Hospital to be by his side, the spokesman said.
A spokeswoman for Pye Partnership declined to comment.
Police have referred the incident to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to investigate.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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