ZB ZB
Live now
Start time
Playing for
End time
Listen live
Listen to NAME OF STATION
Up next
Listen live on
ZB

Man working on $1.2b wasterwater tunnel trapped underground by steel pole

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 20 Apr 2024, 10:55am
A man working on Auckland's Central Interceptor project had to be rescued on April 20. Photo / Dean Purcell
A man working on Auckland's Central Interceptor project had to be rescued on April 20. Photo / Dean Purcell

Man working on $1.2b wasterwater tunnel trapped underground by steel pole

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 20 Apr 2024, 10:55am

A man working underground on Auckland’s $1.2b giant wastewater pipe this morning was trapped by a steel pole. 

A witness on Haverstock Rd in Sandringham said a crane was used to lift the man, who was lying on a stretcher, along with a medic. 

He appeared to be working on Watercare’s Central Interceptor project - a tunnel between central Auckland and the Māngere wastewater treatment plant. 

“At 9.01am we responded to a report of a person trapped under a steel pole approximately six to seven metres down a hole”, Fire and Emergency shift manager Hayley Prince said. 

The person had now been extracted and firefighters had left the scene, she said. 

Seven fire appliances and their crews were sent to the scene from Avondale, Balmoral, Papatoetoe and Auckland City stations, Prince said. 

A Hato Hone St John Ambulance spokeswoman said they had been called to the incident at 8.55am. One person was being taken by ambulance to Auckland City Hospital in a serious condition. 

A man working on Auckland's Central Interceptor project had to be rescued. Photo / Dean PurcellA man working on Auckland's Central Interceptor project had to be rescued. Photo / Dean Purcell 

A man was stuck underground while working on Auckland's Central Interceptor. Photo / Jaime LythA man was stuck underground while working on Auckland's Central Interceptor. Photo / Jaime Lyth 

“We’ve sent one ambulance, two rapid response vehicles and a manager.” 

A police spokeswoman also confirmed officers were at an incident. 

Construction workers in high-vis outfits and hard hats sheltered from the rain afterwards. 

The Central interceptor is being built by Auckland Council-owned Watercare and joint venture partners Ghella (Italy) and Abergeldie (Australia). 

A man working on Auckland's Central Interceptor had to be rescued on April 20. Photo / Dean PurcellA man working on Auckland's Central Interceptor had to be rescued on April 20. Photo / Dean Purcell 

It will reduce overflows into central Auckland waterways, streams and beaches, and stop wastewater being mixed with stormwater. The project will also upgrade an antiquated wastewater network and cater for growth over the next 100 years. 

The tunnel - an immense 4.5m in diameter - is designed to hold a capacity of 226,000 cubic m - equivalent to 90 Olympic swimming pools - and control the flow rate into the Māngere wastewater treatment plant. 

It will run for 14.7 kilometres from Grey Lynn under central Auckland and the Manukau Harbour to Māngere, and will lie between 15 and 110 metres below the surface. 

The Central Interceptor is due to be completed in 2026 rather than 2025 because of interruptions caused by the Covid-19 restrictions and challenges. 

This article was originally published on the NZ Herald here.

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you