Former Federal MP saved from grain auger just in time
UPDATE 5.30PM: A Western Downs man has been rescued after a terrifying ordeal in an underground grain bin.
It is unclear whether former Federal MP Ian Cameron slipped or a structure gave way before he fell into the bin at a property about 10km south of The Gums on the Leichhardt Hwy.
He endured a lengthy wait for help, with rescuers saying he was trapped in the sorghum pit for about two hours before a farm worker found him and stopped the auger which was working below him.
Mr Cameron, 76, suffered crush injuries to his right foot but was spared the agony of going further into the auger.
The alarm was raised shortly before 4pm yesterday, with specialist rescue crews travelling from Toowoomba.
They arrived to find Mr Cameron's shoulders and head clear of the grain.
He was conscious and apparently in good spirits.
"The first thing he told us was he was a donor for CareFlight and that all the contributions were going to finally pay off," RACQ CareFlight retrieval registrar Dr Jordan Webb said.
He said Mr Cameron's injuries were contained to his right foot and his breathing was normal.
The best initial option to get him out was to use buckets to remove the grain by hand.
After about three hours manpower was replaced by horsepower, with a vacuum extraction truck completing the job in about half an hour.
"It had to be positioned very carefully to avoid any damage to the patient."
The grain had to be removed down to Mr Cameron's knee level before he could be lifted out with a harness.
It was about 9.45pm by the time Mr Cameron was freed, about eight hours after he was initially trapped.
He was flown to Toowoomba Hospital where he today remained in a stable condition.
"It could have been a lot worse."
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is investigating the incident.
MONDAY 6.30AM: An elderly man has been airlifted to hospital after a marathon rescue effort to free him from an underground grain silo at a farm on the western Darling Downs.
The man became trapped up to his chest in grain about 2pm yesterday after an iron part of the silo reportedly collapsed, causing the man to fall and sink further into the grain.
The Toowoomba RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter was tasked to the Leichhardt Highway property north-west of Tara to assist with the rescue.
Fire and ambulance services worked with the CareFlight crew for almost six hours to get him out.
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Attempts were made to hoist the man out of the silo by securing a rope underneath his arms, however the man experienced pain around his feet when crews tried to move him.
It was decided the safest way to extract the man would be digging out the grain around him.
SUNDAY 8PM: Firefighters are tonight working to free a man trapped up to his shoulders in sorghum at a grain loading dock.
Crews were called to a Leichhardt Hwy property, about 10km south of The Gums on the Western Downs, at 4.06pm.
A Queensland Fire and Emergency Service spokeswoman said officers secured a harness to the man and were working to remove so they could access his legs.
The man was listed as being in a stable condition.