Thailand – Australia – United Kingdom

Diver survives being crushed under 21-tonne concrete block

A man who had gone diving in the harbor area of Haa Alifu atoll Thakandhoo was nearly crushed under a 21 tonne concrete L-Block slab but survived the incident without any serious injuries.

The incident occurred around 10:00am on Sunday and the man who narrowly survived being crushed by the 15ft tall concrete block was 29-year-old Abdul Dawood of Veesan / Haa Alifu atoll Maarandhoo.

Dawood explained that he had been diving near the harbor to survey the area where the L-blocks would be dropped by crane during the sheet piling work being done on the harbor project. The crane operator would wait for me surface and give the OK sign before he would lift the L-Block with the crane, he said.

He said that when the concrete block fell on top of him, he had temporarily lost all feeling from below the wait and had trouble breathing. He said that he had however survived being crushed without any apparent physical injuries.

“I would dive under and level the sand in the target area before surfacing and giving the OK sign to the crane operator,” he explained. “But that time, the crane operator had already lifted up the concrete block and was keeping it hovering above the surface of the water while I was underwater leveling the sand. The wire snapped as I was directly under the concrete block and the block dropped on top of me. The base of the block hit my air tank. That was probably what saved me from any serious injury.”

He said that the weight of the concrete block had forced him down into the bottom of the lagoon and had been trapped under 12ft of water for a few seconds before the block tilted to the side, giving him enough room to escape.

“When the block hit my oxygen tank, the regulator was pulled loose and all the air began leaking,” he said. “I thought I was done for; didn’t expect to get out alive.”

He said that the doctor had advised getting a few days rest before continuing.

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