Lower Clarence link to tragic harvesting fatality

A 21-year-old man, believed to be from the Lower Clarence, was killed while working on cotton harvesting machinery west of Moree on Monday night.

According to Moree police, the man was working on a Bronte Road property about 80km from Moree when the incident occurred.

It is believed the man was adjusting a tarpaulin on a cotton module when he accidentally activated machinery and was crushed (a cotton module is used to compress cotton so it keeps out moisture).

Police said workmates attempted to resuscitate the young man without success.

An ambulance was called from Moree, but the man was dead by the time they arrived.

Police said there was nothing suspicious about the incident, but an autopsy would be performed and a report prepared for the Coroner.

Radio news bulletins yesterday morning on the ABC and commercial radio said the man was from the Grafton area, but the Moree Champion, a twice-weekly Moree newspaper, said it had been told that the man was from the Central Coast.

Police media said they could not release details of the man's address.

The NSW WorkCover Authority, which has been called to investigate the incident, said the man was from the Lower Clarence.

The spokesman said the investigation would examine the procedures for harvesting at the property. The machinery would also be tested to ensure that it was in proper working order. An investigator who specialises in the cotton industry might be asked to undertake the investigation.

He could not say when the investigation would be finalised.

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