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Man rescued from quicksand trench

Man rescued from quicksand trench

Sat August 11, 2012 10:03pm

A TRADESMAN has been rescued after almost being buried alive in a "quicksand-filled" trench in Melbournes south-east.

The 35-year-old was digging a channel in the backyard of a new residential development in Stable St, Pakenham, when it caved in about 8.30am, trapping him in waist-deep mud.

Sixty firefighters from the CFA and MFB were called to the scene. They worked for more than two hours to free the man.

CFA acting operations officer Michael Cherry said recent heavy rains and a nearby sewer channel had made the ground unstable.

"The mud was liquid, like quicksand and this type of thing can kill people by sucking them in and putting pressure on their ability to breathe," Mr Cherry said.

"He's been very lucky that the mud was only up to his waist and not up to his neck."

Mr Cherry said it was a difficult retrieval. The crews used hydraulic pumps and plywood barriers to move the mud and reach the man without getting sucked in themselves.

The man was taken to Monash Medical Centre suffering mild hypothermia.

WorkSafe is investigating.

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