Jack Brownlee, who was airlifted to Melbourne following yesterday’s tragic Delacombe trench accident, has died in hospital.
Emergency services fought for several hours to free the young man after he was trapped when the trench just off the Glenelg Highway collapsed about 11am.
The family has just released this statement.
On behalf of Dave, Janine, Mitch family and friends we have the unfortunate task of announcing our son, brother and best mate Jackie Boy has passed away, we would like to thank the efforts of the amazing team at the Royal Melbourne Hospital for their care, compassion and efforts over the past 24 hours. We the family know that what could be done was done to get our boy back up and running. This is a very trying time for all family and friends and would like all to respect our privacy at the sad time. Rest In Peace Jacky Boy Brownlee, king of the jungle, bollard, snake a moit, JUNK YARD DOG, chopper, VB SWALLOWING ANIMAL, you will never ever be forgotten mate. #everyonesbestmateFamily spokesperson Kelly Dubberley
UPDATE 10am: Jack Brownlee, 20, has been named as the man who remains in a critical condition at the Royal Melbourne Hospital after yesterday’s trench collapse near Delacombe.
The name of the man killed has yet to be released.
Mr Brownlee’s family has just released this statement to The Courier:
Jacky boy has had everything thrown at him overnight and has one hell of a fight ahead of him over the next few hours, he is in a critical condition and about to undergo his fourth surgery since arriving here at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. The doctors, nurses and specialist have been amazing keeping the family updated throughout the night. Jack's immediate family and his close knit best mates are here by his side waiting for the tough little bastard to come good. The family would like to thank everyone for their well wishes and would like to pass on their condolences to the other family affected by the terrible avoidable incident. Please keep Jack in your mind.Family spokesperson Kelly Dubberley
WorkSafe has also released a statement:
“A man in his 30s has died and a second worker in his 20s has been seriously injured after a trench collapsed at a subdivision site at Delacombe, near Ballarat, yesterday.
It is believed the men were in a sewer trench which was approximately 3.2 metres deep when the incident occurred about 11am.
The injured worker was airlifted to Melbourne.
WorkSafe is investigating the incident.
The fatality brings the number of confirmed workplace deaths to 6 for 2018, the same as this time last year.”
UPDATE 8.30am: A man rescued from a trench collapse near Delacombe yesterday remains in hospital fighting for his life, according to a Victorian Police Spokesperson.
The man, believed to be from Ballarat in his early 20s is in the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition.
A man in his 30s was killed when the trench the pair were working in collapsed abut 11am yesterday morning.
EARLIER: A man in his 30s is dead and another in his 20s is in hospital in an induced coma with serious injuries after a trench collapse near Delacombe.
Late yesterday, the dead man’s body was still being recovered after he was completely buried in the collapse which happened about 11am.
Relatives of the victims had been notified, but the dead man had yet to be formally identified.
The injured man was buried up to his waist and remained conscious during the delicate rescue operation, before he was placed in an induced coma and airlifted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital with serious injuries.
Senior Sergeant David Hermit said a joint investigation between police and WorkSafe would determine the cause of the fatal collapse.
“We don’t know how it happened, there was nobody present at the time,” he said. “The two workers were in the trench and were discovered by other workers arriving on the scene.
“First of all the rescuers were using their hands, then hand tools, before the trench specialists arrived. The men were a long way down, probably five or six metres.”
Travis Bramble, a pipe layer for BMD who was working on the other side of the road said he was informed soon after the incident.
"When I first found out (I felt) pretty sick actually; it's the whole ‘look after your mates’ (message),” he said.
“But in regards to the fact it could have been one of our boys. It's a good wake up call and I'll be bringing it up at our next meeting that's for sure.”
Yesteday’s incident occurred at the Winterfield Estate on the Glenelg Highway. Representatives of Winterfield declined to comment.
Pipecon vehicles and machinery were present on the site. The company also declined to comment when contacted by The Courier.
Ballarat has been without trench rescue equipment since 2014.
Lucas Fire Station union representative Brenton Smith said he and others raised concerns when it was moved away from Ballarat.
Mr Smith said it was unacceptable that equipment had to come from Melbourne and Warrnambool.
“It is an absolutely tragic accident and we want to express our condolences to those affected,” Mr Smith said.
“We raised this with the CFA several years ago that we had no training and no equipment and it was decided by the then head of the CFA and the Liberal Government at the time to move it away from Ballarat and they need to take responsibility for that.
“Unfortunately, trenches do sometimes collapse, but in a city such as Ballarat which is growing at such a rate it’s important we have access here. It may not have made a difference in this case, but the victim was never given a chance.”
When quizzed by The Courier as to why Ballarat did not have a trench rescue facility, the CFA responded in a statement.
“In light of the fact that there has been a fatality and the incident is subject to investigation by a number of agencies, it would be inappropriate and premature to enter into any speculative commentary at this point.”