A man has been killed and two others are injured after a tub of concrete fell from a crane at a construction site in Melbourne’s east.
- A tub of concrete fell into a pit, killing one worker and injuring others
- Two of the men working in the pit were submerged in concrete
- Construction union says counselling has been offered to the men’s workmates
Paramedics said two of the men were submerged and trapped in concrete after the tub fell on top of them at Box Hill about 12:20pm.
One of the trapped men died, while paramedics and workers had to race against the clock to free the other from the wet cement.
“He was struck by the object as well and he was partially submerged in the concrete,” said senior intensive care paramedic Gary Robertson.
“So he had to be extricated from the concrete to get him out.
“It was wet concrete and obviously as you can appreciate there’s a timeline with that as well, because concrete sets.”
The man suffered extensive injuries to his head, chest and abdomen, including fractures and internal bleeding, paramedics said.
He was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where a trauma team was standing by.
Another man with minor injuries was taken to Box Hill Hospital, Ambulance Victoria said.
The injured men, from the suburbs of Caroline Springs and Southbank, were both in their late 20s, police said.
Forty firefighters, including specialist urban search and rescue teams, attended the scene, along with heavy rescue and high angle appliances.
“It’s been a very difficult incident as it’s a building site,” assistant chief fire officer Brendan Angwin said.
Mr Robertson said workers, including the crane driver, were “incredibly traumatised” by the incident.
Victoria Police said it was investigating, and WorkSafe has been notified.
‘No-one should go to work and die’
Union leader John Setka told 3AW Radio that the union had sent counsellors to the scene to offer support to the traumatised workers.
“It’s absolutely terrible,” said Mr Setka, the Victorian secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU).
“You know, there’s people on site crying at the moment.
“It is just something that should not happen ever, to anyone.
“It’s just … no-one should go to work and die.”
He said he believed a mechanical failure had occurred.
“From what we can tell, it’s one of them hammerhead cranes, the ones that sort of stick out vertically.
“[It] looks like the hook’s come off with the kibble on it.
“The kibble is the sort of big bucket they whack on there full of concrete.
Mr Setka said one of the injured men had broken both of his arms.
The union said the crane belonged to Clark Cranes, which it said also owned the crane that collapsed on a Richmond construction site in July.
The company declined the chance to comment when contacted by the ABC.
The union issued an alert to stop the use of the company’s cranes until they have been re-checked for safety.
Mr Setka said the company had about 80 cranes in use in Victoria, and that dozens of construction sites would be impacted by the alert, which could be in place for weeks.
VicRoads said motorists should avoid the area around the site, on the corner of Watts Street and Whitehorse Road.
They recommended using alternative routes such as the Eastern Freeway and Canterbury Road.