Chopper makes two mercy flights

By JOSEPH TERNOWETSKY

THE new Capricorn Rescue helicopter was put to the test yesterday, making two 300 kilometre rescue trips to Middlemount. The first trip involved picking up a 51-year-old male who had been injured in a German Creek coal mine just south of Midd- lemount.

The miner had suffered a broken leg and had become trapped underground.

"The helicopter arrived before he was even recovered from the mine,'' said Paul Tongue, senior air crew officer for the rescue ser-vice.

The miner was transported to Rockhampton Hospital and is in stable condition.

About one hour after dropping off this patient, the helicopter crew was again called to Middlemount.

A 45-year-old male had been thrown over the handlebars of his motorcross cycle while doing a jump at the Middlemount track.

He landed on his head and the bike crashed on top of him.

The male was unconscious for over 40 minutes and he suffered severe head injuries.

When the helicopter crew picked him up he was conscious and bleeding.

Hospital staff would not comment on the patient's status by press time yesterday.

"We came back to Rockhampton at low level to reduce pressure on the head injury,'' Mr Tongue said.

The crew was also able to take the injured man's wife to the hospital.



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