Essex farmer trapped by hay bale saved by mobile phone call

A farmer trapped under a one-tonne hay bale was only saved because he had a mobile phone, his rescuers have said.

The man, in his 60s, dialled 999 from beneath the bale which fell from a stack at Newport, near Saffron Walden, Essex, just before 12:00 BST.

Essex Fire Service said the man had been alone and may not have been found had he not had his phone with him.

Firefighters freed him and he was taken by ambulance to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge with stomach injuries.

The man, who has not been named, had been setting up feed for pheasants in his tractor when the bale fell, trapping him face-down in mud.

'Struggling to breathe'

Station Officer Paul Curtis, from Saffron Walden fire station, said: "Without his mobile phone in his pocket he would not have been able to call 999 to raise the alarm and let us know that he was trapped under the hay bale.

"The man was trapped up to his head by the hay bale and he was struggling to breathe with the weight of the bale on him.

"The 999 control operator kept the man talking on his mobile phone, reassuring him that fire crews were on their way to rescue him."

Firefighters used two airbags to lift the bale off the man.

They gave him oxygen and then ambulance staff took over.

An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said an ambulance, rapid response car and its hazardous area response team (HART) attended, along with the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

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