Worker hit by crane

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A CONTRACTOR carrying out coastal work was airlifted to hospital after being hit by a crane.

The 59-year-old man was working on the outfall pipe off Mainsforth Terrace, close to Newburn Bridge, in Hartlepool, when the incident happened.

Hartlepool’s Coastguard team and the RNLI in-shore lifeboat, along with the RNLI’s doctor, were called to the scene after the boom from a crane swung and hit the man in the back, causing him to fall a short distance into the sea.

The Great North Air Ambulance was called to the scene before rushing the man to James Cook University Hospital with a suspected back injury, around 10.45am yesterday.

A spokesman for HM Coastguard said: “The man was working in shallow water and it looks like the crane swung round and struck him a glancing blow.”

The work was being carried out by a sub-contractor for Northumbrian Water, whose spokesman said: “I understand the man has been sitting up in hospital and chatting.”