Workers escape unharmed from dip in oxidation pond

The Fulton Hogan ute was partially submerged in the oxidation pond at Heriot, West Otago, on Tuesday morning. Photo supplied.
The Fulton Hogan ute was partially submerged in the oxidation pond at Heriot, West Otago, on Tuesday morning. Photo supplied.

Two Fulton Hogan workers had a lucky escape on Tuesday morning when their utility vehicle went into the Heriot oxidation pond.

Heriot Volunteer Fire Brigade senior firefighter Gary MacKenzie said the utility vehicle had rolled into the sewage pond. Both occupants had climbed out by the time the brigade arrived shortly before 11.30am.

When contacted by the Otago Daily Times, Fulton Hogan regional manager Richard Fulton said the two contractors had been checked out and were ''OK''.

He said an investigation into the cause of the incident would be carried out.

The oxidation pond on the outskirts of the West Otago township is owned by the Clutha District Council and services about 75 homes.

Council district assets manager Jules Witt said the pond was about 1.5m deep, and was the smallest of all the council's oxidation ponds.

He said the two contractors were shaken by the incidents but were otherwise unharmed.

''The important thing is to remember that they are OK.''

The council was awaiting the results of Fulton Hogan's investigation before

making a decision on whether preventive measures were needed, Mr Witt said.

''We have to look at the exact cause of the incident and see if anything needs to be done to prevent it happening again.''

- helena.dereus@odt.co.nz