HILLSBORO BEACH, Fla. – A man's arm was severed Thursday morning while he was working with an industrial auger in Hillsboro Beach, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Michael Kane said.
The incident was reported just after 10 a.m. at 1107 Hillsboro Mile.
According to Kane, the 44-year-old construction worker's right arm was severed just below the shoulder after it somehow got caught in the machinery.
Kane said augers are frequently used during construction projects "to burrow into the ground for the purpose of drilling holes."
He said the victim was first taken by ground to Broward Health North, but was then airlifted to Broward Health Medical Center due to the severity of the injury. Surgeons at the hospital will attempt to reattach the man's arm, Kane said.
"Miraculously, the patient was conscious and in stable condition after the traumatic incident, likely due to the swift actions of a Hillsboro police officer on the scene who applied a tourniquet and managed the patient's care before paramedics arrived," Kane said in an email.
Hillsboro police identified the officer who likely saved the victim's life as Sgt. Andrew Kirchoff, who is the Police Department's CPR and first aid instructor.
The victim's identity has not been released.
A worker from a nearby construction zone said he felt awful about the incident, but was not shocked about it.
"You can never tell them to be careful enough, make sure they have their hard hats, their glasses," Guy Paterra said. "Hopefully they can fix him back up and he will be OK. It is a hell of a Christmas present for whoever and his family, but it is what we do for a living."
Local 10 News reached out to Dynatech Engineering -- the company that was digging holes, likely getting soil samples for piling -- and is awaiting a response.
OSHA is investigating the cause of the accident.