Bridge collapse being investigated

THE South Burnett Regional Council is investigating the collapse of a bridge outside Nanango which left a council contractor seriously injured.

A Maroochydore man in his 60s , who was engaged in the deconstruction of Ennis Bridge, was injured in the collapse on Tuesday afternoon.

The man was airlifted to Brisbane by LifeFlight after sustaining a potentially serious injury while deconstructing the bridge on Goodger Gully Rd, Brooklands, about 100m off Nanango-Brooklands Rd.

Queensland Police, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the council workplace health and safety unit are still on site.

Investigation into the collapse has been started by authorities.

About 10 years ago the Ennis Bridge was closed for structural reasons.

The council recently approved the demolition of the structure.

A spokeswoman for the council said it engaged an experienced qualified demolition contractor with extensive experience in the deconstruction of timber bridges.

The undertaking to deconstruct Ennis Bridge was under the control of contractor AFP Excavations and Demolition, listed as the person conducting a business or undertaking under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011.

"This is an unfortunate accident and the council will assist the investigation,” she said.

The site has been barricaded off from public access as the remaining structure is unstable.

The council has advised there be no unauthorised access to the site and asked members of the community to avoid the location if possible.

The man suffered multiple trauma injuries after an excavator he was operating fell seven metres off the Ennis Bridge.

The man was dismantling the timber bridge when it was believed part of it gave way, causing the excavator to tip over and fall approximately 7m into the dry creek below.

The excavator landed upside down, trapping the operator inside the cabin.

His colleagues, who were also operating a smaller excavator nearby, phoned emergency services.

Queensland Police Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were first on the scene to remove the man from the 24-tonne excavator.

Inspector Mark Long said QFES staff worked to extract the man from the excavator.

Queensland Ambulance Service paramedics, who were also on scene, treated him shortly before the arrival of Sunshine Coast-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter.

The man, who was conscious throughout the rescue, suffered injuries to several parts of his body.

He was airlifted in a serious condition to Royal Brisbane Hospital.

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