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SYDNEY: Worker Dies After Falling Into a Vat of Ink at a Factory

Australia

SYDNEY: Worker Dies After Falling Into a Vat of Ink at a Factory

A man has died after cleaning a very hot vat of ink at a western Sydney factory.

He was one of three workers who became trapped at the Auburn site shortly before 9am on Thursday.

The deceased man’s two other colleagues, aged in their twenties, were rescued from the Chisholm Road premises owned by DIC Australia, with one of them trapped for several hours.

However, the worker who died remains in the ink vat.

Rescue crews arrived at the scene where a worker died after falling into an ink vat in Auburn
Dic Australia's Chisholm Road site at Auburn has suffered from the loss of a worker in an ink vat

New South Ambulance superintendent Paul Turner said the deceased man, aged in his thirties, had been trapped by his legs, describing the area as ‘a very difficult scene’.

‘There was still ink on the floor of the vat, which hampered rescue efforts and treatment,’ he said. ‘It’s extremely hot inside the vat,’ he said.

‘Very limited personnel have been able to get inside.’

Special operations paramedics have been dispatched to the six-metre high vat ‘shaped like a large battery’.

A heavy-duty hazardous materials Fire and Rescue NSW truck at the scene of the tragedy
The front area of the Auburn factory in western Sydney where a worker died on Thursday
Ambulance paramedics were sent to the scene of the industrial accident on Thursday afternoon
A police rescue specialist is on the scene at Auburn in Sydney's west where the men are trapped

Three men were initially all conscious and talking when they were trapped about 8.45am on Thursday.

However, Mr Turner said the deceased men ‘deteriorated rapidly towards the end’.

Ten ambulances are on hand, along with police and Fire and Rescue trucks.

The two rescued men were taken to Westmead Hospital, with one man suffering suspected leg injuries and the other leg fractures.

Ambulance parademics at the scene said the injuries were likely to have been caused by falling into the vat instead of the chemicals inside.

‘This is a terrible tragedy,’ Mr Turner said later in a statement.

Police Rescue and firefighters arrived on the scene after three men were initially trapped
A street view image of the DIC Australia ink factory on Chisholm Road at Auburn in Sydney's west

‘We did absolutely everything we could.

‘It was a complex operation. We worked as quickly as we could to access these patients.’

The man is yet to be formally identified and his body remains in the tank, a NSW Police spokesman said.

Detectives have established a crime scene and are investigating.

SafeWork NSW has also sent inspectors to the site to investigate, a spokesman told Australian Associated Press.

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