Mobile phone saves man crushed by hay bales

A GAMEKEEPER said he was “lucky to be alive” after being trapped face down under a tonne of hay bales in an incident that could have been fatal were it not for his mobile phone.

Emergency services rushed to Shortgrove Farm in Newport after Robert Rogers managed to alert them by prying his phone from his pocket using his free hand.

He told the Reporter it was only by “pure chance” that he had his phone with him at the time of the accident last Thursday morning (October 25).

Mr Rogers had become trapped at around 11.50am and, because he was in an isolated area, no-one could hear his cries for help.

“Sometimes I have my phone in my pocket but other times I leave it in my jeep or even on a hay bale somewhere, so I was very luck on this occasion,” the 62-year-old said. “I am not a mobile phone fan but I got talked into getting one a while back because I work on my own a lot – it certainly saved the day.”

Mr Rogers, who has lived and worked on the Shortgrove Estate for 42 years, was working alone unloading hay bales onto a tractor when a batch collapsed on him from behind.

He was trapped underneath them and soon realised his attempts to shout for help were “futile” because there was no-one around.

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“I had just turned my back on the stack of bales when I was knocked over. I couldn’t do anything about it.

“I couldn’t move – it had trapped me up to my neck and was heavily weighing down on my back,” he added. “I had one of my hands free but I couldn’t reach my jacket pocket, it was only after wriggling around that I somehow managed to get to it.

“It was an eerie feeling being stuck there. I was starting to find it difficult to breathe properly but I tried my best not to panic and thought to myself how I was going to get out of the situation. I am just happy to be alive.”

Two fire crews from Saffron Walden and another from Newport used airbags to lift the bale off Mr Rogers and he was taken to hospital with suspected abdominal injuries.

Mr Rogers was released later that day after being checked over at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, and is now back at work.

Station officer at Saffron Walden fire station, Paul Curtis, said it could have been a lot worse.

“When we arrived he was struggling to breathe and starting to lose consciousness and I think with the weather as cold as it was, his life could have been in danger had it not have been for his phone.

“He was a very lucky man.”