Scrap worker trapped in car crusher

H Ripley and Co., Westfield. 25/5/11
H Ripley and Co., Westfield. 25/5/11

A SCRAPYARD worker was critically injured after his legs became trapped in a car crusher in front of horrified colleagues.

Emergency services were called to Ripley Autospares at Hole Farm, Westfield Lane, Westfield, just after 8.30am on Tuesday.

The 40-year-old Polish worker, named locally as Peter Sarniak from Hastings, is believed to have been working in the machine when it was somehow switched on.

Both his legs were crushed by the machinery and he was trapped for around 45 minutes.

The man was treated at the scene by a medical team including doctors from SIMCAS, the immediate care charity, the Air Ambulance and paramedics from South East Coast Ambulance Service.

Emergency blood supplies were rushed to the scene and he was given a general anaesthetic before being cut free from the machinery by East Sussex Fire and Rescue. The Air Ambulance then flew him to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, for further surgery.

SIMCAS doctor Alan Pearce who attended the scene, described the man’s injuries as “horrific”.

He said “This was a nasty incident for everyone involved.

“It was comforting to know that the pain relief and anaesthetic we gave him because of the horrific injuries would help reduce and relieve his suffering.”

Three other workers were treated for shock.

Police and the Health and Safety Executive have launched an investigation into the cause of the accident. The Westfield site has been closed since the incident.

The firm said it would not make any comment while the investigation is in progress.