Man injured in Lake Heights building site collapse

A man sustained multiple injuries after part of a building collapsed at a Lake Heights construction site on Wednesday, sending him plummeting four metres to the ground below. 

Emergency services were called to a Flagstaff Road address about 12.45pm following reports of an accident at a building site.

The 63-year-old man was injured when an internal wall of the house shifted, causing timber which had been placed on an upper level of the building to fall.

Ambulance NSW duty officer Inspector Norm Rees said the man – who had been standing on the first level – sustained fractures to his skull, pelvis and ribs as a result of the collapse.

Inspector Rees said the man fell up to four metres. 

“He’s got some fairly significant bruising around the back of his chest and it’s caused some shortness of breath,” Inspector Rees said at the scene.

Fire and Rescue crews on scene said an internal wall of the house collapsed causing the timber frame to fall.

Fire and Rescue crews on scene said an internal wall of the house collapsed causing the timber frame to fall.

The man was stablised by paramedics before being taken to Wollongong Hospital in a stable condition. 

He was later airlifted to a Sydney hospital for further treatment.

“The job was complicated because of the site being totally unstable [so] we’ve called Fire and Rescue in,” Inspector Rees said.

“All of the walls are freestanding. The floor that’s collapsed is unsafe so they [firefighters] have stabilised everything so it’s safe for everybody to remove the patient.” 

Inspector Rees said a rescue helicopter was on standby, but not required.

“Whilst the injuries don’t become obvious straight away, we have to treat for the worst case scenario,” he said. 

The man remained in the collapsed site about 1.30pm.

Fire and Rescue NSW duty commander Inspector John Hawes said man was “impacted but not trapped” by the falling timber. 

“He’s not pinned by any weight but he has been impacted by the timber falling from that upper level,” Inspector Hawes said at the scene. “The collapse of a central wall has meant the timbers have all slid down.”

The man was carried from the worksite by firefighters about 1.45pm.  An exclusion zone was set up as fire crews assessed the collapsed wall, amid concerns it could “impact the neighbour’s house”, Inspector Hawes said. SafeWork NSW has been notified.

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