1 August 2001
Farmworker buried alive in trench

By FWi staff

A SCOTTISH farmworker is recovering in hospital after being buried alive when a 15ft deep trench he was digging collapsed.

According to rescue workers, Ian Black, 34, survived on the air in a small space he created.

He had been working alone at Feddal Farm, Braco, Perthshire, clearing an obstruction to lay a pipe in the drainage trench, when it caved in.

The accident was discovered when a colleague found the digger with its engine still running, and saw the collapsed trench, but no sign of Mr Black.

Fire brigade assistant divisional officer Alan Ramsay said: “We were in voice contact, which was great news. We knew the man was still alive.

“It was a hard job. The chap was very, very lucky.

“The way he fell forward created a cavity in front of his face. Because the soil was clay-like, there was a breathing space in front of him.”

Mr Black was taken by air ambulance to Stirling Royal Infirmary and was reported to be in a stable condition on Monday (31 July) night.

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