Rescued man 'lucky' silo was nearly empty

A Balclutha volunteer firefighter who helped rescue a man who fell into a grain silo says the victim is lucky the silo was nearly empty.

Balclutha Fire Brigade senior station officer Stu Powell was dispatched along with two fire crews, police, St John ambulance and an Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter to the rural property in Hillend Rd about 11.30am yesterday.

They arrived to find the man lying flat on his back inside the silo.

Crews worked to remove a side of the silo before the man was stretchered on to the waiting rescue helicopter and flown to Dunedin Hospital from the scene in the Hillend area, near the intersection of Hillend and Coe Rds, north of Balclutha.

"There was a bit of difficulty involved.

"But we're quite pleased there was no grain in the silo, that's for sure."

Mr Powell said while the 45-year-old man, whom he knew personally, was injured, he appeared "in good spirits" when transported into the rescue helicopter.

A Dunedin Hospital duty co-ordinator confirmed the man was in a stable condition.

The man's wife requested privacy for the family but said her husband was "doing fine".

St John spokesman Gerard Campbell said the man had sustained serious injuries.

A woman living nearby said there were at least three dairy farms in the area of the incident, all with silos.

Two years ago, a Riversdale electrical contractor was buried in a Southland grain silo before being rescued by tradesmen and farm workers who frantically dug him out, saving his life.

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