FIREFIGHTERS set up a hydrocarbon boom to ensure any soil spilt from an excavator which tooppled in the river is contained.
FIREFIGHTERS set up a hydrocarbon boom to ensure any soil spilt from an excavator which tooppled in the river is contained. Tweed Daily News/Craig Sadler

Excavator takes a dive

AN excavator operator escaped uninjured from a terrifying crash into the Tweed River yesterday afternoon.

As the machine worked to complete rock revetment work in River Street, Murwillumbah, it tumbled metres down the steep riverbank and landed upside down in the water.

The operator of the vehicle was described as “shaken” following the scary fall, and was luckily to escape injury.

The driver's getaway was remarkable, as the cabin of the machine was submerged in chilly waters of the Tweed River.

Seery Excavations were undertaking the work for Tweed Shire Council.

According to a Council spokeswoman, the job was to replace armour stone on the riverbank to prevent further erosion.

Director of Engineering and Operations Patrick Knight said he was relieved there were no serious injuries arising from the incident.

“The incident has been reported to WorkCover and we will wait for the outcome of that report before additional work can proceed,” Mr Knight said.

“Our primary concern is natur- ally for the welfare of the workers involved and any environmental effects the incident may have.

“The contractor had previously installed booms as an initial environmental safe guard before the incident took place, as part of normal environmental safeguards.

“Additional booms were installed after the incident to ensure any fuel from the equipment was contained.”

Murwillumbah fire brigade captain Greg Hayes said a hydrocarbon boom was set up to contain any fuel spill, and one leak was plugged by firefighters at the scene.

The crash went unnoticed by River Street residents approached by the Tweed Daily News yesterday, and they were glad the operator escaped from the crash.

Seery Excavations were unable to make any comment about the incident until the WorkCover report was completed.



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