Lucky escape for worker trapped beneath ‘Bobcat’ machine

Exacavator topples over and leaves operator trapped beneath it

The injured worker being carried to the ambulance. Photo John Pisani
The injured worker being carried to the ambulance. Photo John Pisani

Joseph Bartolo, 57, from Mellieħa, had a lucky escape when the ‘Bobcat’ he was using to remove a pile of soil, toppled over itself, trapping him beneath the heavy machine.

Bartolo was said to have sustained slight injuries when the excavator turned over itself. The accident happened at around 5:25pm near Selmun, in the limits of Mellieħa.

While trapped beneath the utility machine, Bartolo managed to reach for his mobile phone and call for help. In a few minutes, rescuers from the Civil Protection, led by officer Tony Micallef, arrived on site and found Bartolo stuck under the equipment.

Witnesses said Bartolo was calm throughout the rescue, even reaching for his lighter to light a cigarette.

To lift the ‘Bobcat’, rescuers used airbags while Bartolo was pulled out by the same rescuers together with the police from the RIU. It looks like a rubble wall stopped the heavy equipment from further tilting over and actually crushing the worker.

The Bobcat that turned upside down. Photo John Pisani
The Bobcat that turned upside down. Photo John Pisani
Photo John Pisani
Photo John Pisani

Video is unavailable at this time.

An ambulance with a medical team led by Dr Michael Spiteri and Dr Manwel Vassallo gave first aid to Bartolo and then took him to Mater Dei Hospital for further treatment.

District police led by Sergeant Ronnie Attard and PC Angelo Cutajar were also on the scene of the accident to prepare a report.

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