UPDATE: Six tonne dumper truck traps Warnham worker

JPCT 090312  Men trapped under vehicle at Warnham rubbish dump. photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 090312 Men trapped under vehicle at Warnham rubbish dump. photo by Derek Martin

EMERGENCY services were scrambled to a Warnham landfill site after a man became trapped under a six tonne dumper truck this afternoon (Friday March 9).

Another worker at the Brookhurst Wood rubbish tip, off Langhurstwood Road, suffered ankle injuries when the vehicle struck him.

Fire crew, Sussex Air Ambulance, police and South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) were called to the scene just before 12noon.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue (WSFR) dispatched more than five units including the Technical Rescue team to save the trapped 37-year-old worker.

St.John Stanley, station commander for the Technical Rescue Unit at WSFR, described the ‘tricky rescue’ as ‘a bit jeepers’.

He said: “The articulated dumper truck ended up falling backwards into a ditch.

“The guy that was driving may had tried to jump out of it and somehow ended up underneath the dumper trapped by his right leg.

“He had fallen under a pallet and the wheel of the truck was on the pallet, so it made it a tricky rescue.

“A plan was hatched to lift the truck up a couple of inches so we could free the casualty.”

The crew used a winch and an airbag to carefully lift the truck three inches off the ground.

“We couldn’t lift from below so it was a bit jeepers,” continued the commander. “We lifted the truck to a safe height and then we got into the trench with the casualty to move him.”

A spokesperson for SECAmb said the worker ‘suffered the serious injury of a fractured femur’.

Paramedics issued emergency treatment to his leg upon release.

A 39-year-old suffered injuries to his ankle after being hit by the truck.

Both men were taken to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill by land ambulance before 1.30pm.

The commander added: “It was very positive for us because the whole incident was over pretty quickly. It’s always not as quick for the casualty but everyone was tuned in.

“We’ve had to recover bodies in the past so a rescue like that is a fantastic boost for the crew.”

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “Emergency services were called to the Brookhurst Wood landfill site at Langhurstwood Road, Warnham, just before 12 noon on Friday March 9.

“Initial reports suggested that the second man was trapped beneath the truck, but that neither man has received life threatening injuries.

“The Health and Safety Executive has been informed but the incident is still being dealt with and we are not yet in position to confirm any further information.”