Man Trapped in Trench Dies

Posted by Media Release - Waikato Police on 28/05/2014

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Waikato Police are assisting WorkSafe New Zealand in their investigation of a fatal workplace accident near Matamata yesterday.

Officer in charge of the Matamata Police, Sergeant Graham McGurk, said emergency services were called to a rural Te Poi property about 12.30pm.

"34-year-old Matamata man, Michael Kevin HAINES, who was employed by a contracting firm working on the Rapurapu Rd property, had gone down into trench dug by a digger to work on a pipe join.

"As he was bent over a large slip occurred and he was buried. The digger operator saw what had happened and managed to dig the victim out to the point where his head was clear before he ran to get assistance from nearby farm and construction workers."

Mr McGurk said initially the trapped man was conscious and able to breathe but his condition deteriorated.

"The combined efforts of the workers managed to free the man who was by now unconscious. An ambulance arrived at the scene about this time and CPR was carried out until such time as an air ambulance helicopter arrived to fly him to Waikato Hospital but he was unable to be revived.

"A WorkSafe NZ team attended the scene and Police are now assisting them in their enquiries into what happened. The matter has also been reported to the Coroner."