Fall survivor was in psychiatric care


A man who survived a 30m fall, landing on the roof of a commercial building near Camberley, was an "informal" patient at the Hawke's Bay Hospital's mental-health unit in Hastings.

Emergency services including three fire trucks, ambulance and police staff were called to the PGG Wrightson Seed and Grain Centre on Orchard Rd where the 30-year-old had fallen from a tower, landing on the roof of a shed, about 8m off the ground.

The Fire Service used a crane ladder from one appliance to reach the injured man and to allow staff to secure him, so he could be lifted down to waiting St John ambulance staff.

St John Hawke's Bay district operations manager Stephen Smith said the man had hit a cable as he fell from the tower and had been assessed at the scene as having serious leg injuries.

He was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital, a few blocks away from the industrial area.

It was believed the man had been a patient at the hospital's mental-health unit.

Hawke's Bay District Health Board spokesperson Anna Kirk said he was an "informal" patient at the mental-health inpatient unit, which meant he was able to "come and go as he pleased".

Anyone admitted as a "formal patient" under the Mental Health Act would have their movements restricted, but the man at the centre of yesterday's scene was not a formal patient.

Last night he was being assessed at the hospital's emergency department and was reported to be in a serious but stable condition.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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