Search continues for buried digger driver

  • South Island

The search continues for the driver of an excavator buried by falling rocks and debris yesterday morning.

Canterbury Police has received specialist support from Alpine Cliff Rescue, WorkSafe NZ and Mines Engineering.

Inspector Corrie Parnell says the specialist team was unable to work at the scene overnight due to the instability of the rock face.  “Unfortunately the SAR operation has now moved into a recovery phase which may take a number of days to complete.  Overnight the specialist team made good progress on planning the activities to be undertaken today and identified specialist equipment and resources that may need to be sourced from outside the District.”

Weather conditions in the area are predicted to remain favourable, but the strong winds are reducing visibility on the site due to dust.

The man’s family, as well as his colleagues, are being supported by Victim Support.

Police say it is difficult to estimate how long the operation will take.