One man died and three were injured when a platform broke away from a telehandler on Tuesday June 7th, in the village of Avenches, south west of Bern in Switzerland.
The telehandler was being used by the charity Cigogne Suisse at the National stud farm to count and band storks nesting in the outbuildings. Four people were in the fully integrated platform installed on a Merlo Roto telehandler - the rental company operator, 48, two employees - a man, 58 and a woman, 24 - of Agroscope the Swiss centre of excellence for agricultural research a quasi-governmental institution along with a 76 year old volunteer from the stork association Cigogne Suisse.
They were working at a height of around 12 metres, when something happened that caused the platform to break away from the boom and drop to the ground. The volunteer died at the scene from the injuries he sustained, while the operator was very seriously injured and was airlifted to hospital where he was reported to be in a critical condition. The other two suffered less serious injuries but were also hospitalised.
An investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing.