Menu
News

Reason behind horror ink vat death

Two men are trapped in an oil tank in western Sydney.
Two men are trapped in an oil tank in western Sydney.

THE man killed in an ink vat in Sydney's west yesterday was trapped by a mixing blade that suddenly started working.

The man, aged in his 40s, was inside the vat cleaning it when the blade swung into him about 8.45am. A co-worker, 29, was also injured.

A third man, 28, was injured when he leapt into the vat and tried to save the pair. He and the 29-year-old were freed after about two hours and taken to Westmead Hospital with multiple leg fractures, while a major rescue involving police, ambulance and NSW Fire and Rescue crews was under way to free the other man.

The accident happened about 8.45am.  Picture Nine News
The accident happened about 8.45am. Picture Nine News

Rescuers had to enter the eight-metre vat through a manhole. They were initially able to speak to the trapped man, who was conscious, but he died shortly before midday.

Police will investigate on behalf of the coroner and SafeWork NSW will try and determine how the mixing blade started working or moved while the men were inside.

There was still ink in the vat at the DIC Australia factory when the man and two colleagues climbed inside to clean it - and that made the rescue attempt even more difficult, NSW Ambulance Superintendent Paul Turner said.

Rescuers encountered hot conditions inside the tank.
Rescuers encountered hot conditions inside the tank.

Mr Turner said the rescue operation had been complex.

"The third patient unfortunately died on scene, this is a terrible tragedy.

"We had 10 ambulance resources on scene, along with NSW Police and Fire & Rescue ... We did absolutely everything we could."

Some of the rescuers were experts in working in confined spaces, he said.

The conditions in the tank were "hot", he said.

"It's a tragic set of circumstances so close to Christmas".

It took several hours for the body of the victim to be removed.

One of the injured remains in hospital in stable condition.

 

andrew.koubaridis@news.com.au

Topics:  editors picks fatality ink vat ink vat death


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Shorten shares his CQ vision to a packed town hall meeting

HOLDING COURT: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten hosted a rousing town meeting where locals brought plenty of issues to his attention.

The alternative PM hears heartbreaking stories from CQ locals.

UPDATE: Students praised after Biloela campus lockdown

LOCKDOWN: St Joseph's Catholic Primary School has gone in to lockdown after an intruder was reported on campus.

The school briefly went into lockdown due to an intruder on campus.

CQ placed on flood alert as BoM issues new warning

If it's flooded, forget it.

Heavy rain across Central Queensland to result in high flood levels

Local Partners