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PAC: Sound like a goat saves NZ man trapped in hopper

21 Apr 2009 2:03 PM

WELLINGTON, April 21 NZPA - A man trapped up to his neck in a hopper full of rocks at a New Zealand quarry was saved after he was heard bleating like a goat and workmates dug him out with their bare hands.

Philip Dick of Wakefield, in the South Island, was recovering at home on Tuesday after he was trapped for 30 minutes among fist-sized rocks in the hopper at his Pig Valley quarry near Nelson on Monday, The Nelson Mail reported.

St John Ambulance team manager Jon Leach said one of the workers found Dick after hearing a sound like a goat.

It was possible he had not been able to yell properly because he was being squeezed by the weight of the rocks.

Leach said Dick was slowly being "swallowed up" by the rocks and was moving down the hopper. The other men dug him out with their bare hands.

One of the men cut a hole in the bottom of the hopper using an angle grinder, which had allowed some of the rocks to fall out.

Dick was treated and discharged from Nelson Hospital on Monday evening.

He did not want to speak to media but said through a family member his survival was down to the "heroic efforts" of his brother, a nephew and a truck driver.