Man critical after Forrestfield-Perth Airport rail link tunnel accident

One of the tunnel boring machines being used in the project.
One of the tunnel boring machines being used in the project.

A 26-year-old New Zealand man is in a critical condition in hospital after being struck by a flailing hose at a tunnel project in Perth.

Josh Butterworth underwent emergency surgery after the hose, which disconnected from a pipe, lashed him in the face as he worked on the Forrestfield-Perth Airport rail link project on Saturday.

WorkSafe is investigating and has confirmed he was wearing a helmet and other protective equipment.

The CFMEU said workers on the project had been told not to talk to the union after the accident and those who had previously raised concerns about safety had faced “draconian treatment”.

State secretary Mick Buchan said there have been other serious incidents at the project, including a worker suffering an electric shock when a crane hit power lines.

Tunnel boring was halted for two months earlier this year when “ground disturbances” were reported on Perth Airport land.

The $1.86 billion state and federal government-funded project is a joint venture between Salini Impregilo and NRW Holdings and is due to be completed in 2020.