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A man was crushed to death when a rubbish truck slid down a bank near Auckland yesterday.
Emergency services were called to a steep gravel road in the Ness Valley area about 1.30pm.
Westpac Rescue helicopter crewman Leon Ford said the man had been crushed between the rubbish truck and a dirt bank.
"Our advanced paramedic crawled under the truck to assess him, and he unfortunately didn't make it."
While the circumstances were unclear, the truck was believed to have been picking up inorganic waste from the side of the road, possibly with the help of a small crane.
"They were picking up mattresses and drums and things like that which wouldn't go in your normal rubbish truck," Mr Ford said.
"He's obviously got himself in the wrong position at the the wrong time, and the truck has slid down and moved onto him, and crushed him on the bank, which is really unfortunate."
Mr Ford said another worker had been in the area at the time, but was not involved in the accident.
"He ran back up the road to see him. He was in a hell of a mess, emotionally."
The crushed worker was extracted using heavy equipment.
Police were investigating the incident.
- Matthew Backhouse of APNZ