One dead, two rescued after being trapped in vat in Auburn

Paramedics are seen on the scene where three men were trapped in a tank in Auburn on December 7, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Fairfax Media)
Paramedics are seen on the scene where three men were trapped in a tank in Auburn on December 7, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Fairfax Media)
A police officer walks DIC headqarters where three men were trapped in a tank in Auburn on December 7, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Fairfax Media)

A police officer walks DIC headqarters where three men were trapped in a tank in Auburn on December 7, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Fairfax Media)

One man has died after three workers were trapped in an ink vat in a workplace accident in Sydney's west on Thursday morning.

Emergency services were called to DIC Australia, an ink factory in Chisholm Road, Auburn, about 8.50am, following reports three men aged between 30 and 40 were trapped.

By 11.30am two men had been rescued, but the third man died at the scene. The body remains trapped in the vat.

"The third patient trapped is now deceased," NSW Ambulance Superintendent Paul Turner said.

"We did everything we could; this is a tragedy."

The workers had been cleaning the large ink vat when they became stuck, Superintendent Turner said.

"My understanding is that they were cleaning a vat used for ink; they were in there doing maintenance cleaning and they've become trapped in the vat," he told Fairfax Media.

"I believe there's a mixing blade in the vat and that's what they've become trapped on."

"Ink slush" at the bottom of the vat had contributed to making the rescue a "complex operation", he said.

"It makes it quite difficult to access the patients ... because you're in a really dirty environment, obviously that hampered efforts," he said.

The vat was between five and eight metres high, he said, and emergency workers used a manhole at the bottom to access the patients.

Superintendent Turner said it had been a tough scene for the emergency workers.

"When someone deteriorates clinically it's always hard for all emergency workers," he said.

"They build rapport with the patient; to have him deteriorate and lose his life can be quite distressing."

The two other men were taken to hospital with non-critical injuries.

"The first man was released [from the vat] and taken to Westmead Hospital with multiple leg fractures in a stable condition," Superintendent Turner said.

"The second man [was released later] and sent to Westmead with similar injuries and again in a stable condition."

Police rescue crews, ambulance and four fire crews were on the scene, and an ambulance spokesman said earlier the rescue operation could take more than four hours.

Detectives from Flemington Local Area Command were investigating and a crime scene was established.

SafeWork NSW inspectors were also called, a SafeWork spokesman said.

Superintendent Turner said there had been "great co-operation" between the different emergency services at the scene.

"People were working extremely hard to get all the men out."

This story One dead, two rescued after being trapped in vat in Auburn first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.