Grandfather used pen knife to free himself from nine-tonne tractor


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The Independent Online

A man used a pocket knife to dig himself free after a tractor pinned him to the ground for over six hours.

Barry Lynch, 54, was also forced to drink water from the air-conditioning unit in a bid to stay hydrated during his ordeal.

The grandfather-of-five said he was preparing for work on a cane farm in Queensland, Australia, when the drawbar of a crop sprayer collapsed on his leg, leaving him trapped underneath.

“I thought, 'I've got to think of something,' and I tried calling out but we were in the sticks and there was no one around,” Mr Lynch told the Townsville Bulletin.

Using a pocket knife, he began digging through the ground to free himself from the nine-tonne tractor until he had burrowed deep enough to free himself.

“It was just getting bigger and bigger and blacker and blacker until I could feel my skin cracking,” Mr Lynch said. He knew he had to keep digging or he would lose his leg, he added, and spent six hours freeing himself.

After finally pulling himself from under the tractor, he managed to call for help from his mobile phone.

His brother Geoff Lynch and sister Sue Lundon said the incident "was like something you see in a horror film".

Having raised the alarm, Mr Lynch was airlifted to Cairns Hospital where surgeons there worked to save his leg from being amputated. He is continuing his recovery at the hospital.