Toddler dies in sewage pit on NT property after warnings about the tanks eight months prior

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Toddler dies in sewage pit on NT property after warnings about the tanks eight months prior

A warning about children falling into sewage pits had been issued eight months before a two-year-old boy died after falling into one.The toddler fell

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A warning about children falling into sewage pits had been issued eight months before a two-year-old boy died after falling into one.

The toddler fell into the pit while on a property in the Mt Liebig Aboriginal community, 310km west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, on March 29.

He was resuscitated and flown to the Women And Children’s Hospital in Adelaide in a critical but stable condition, but died five days later.

The death follows NT WorkSafe issuing a warning in August, 2022 regarding the dangers of leaving off lids to sewage pits and what safety precautions should be taken.

The warning reminded of the potential for a young child to die after two children fell into separate sewage pits in the state in the months before the warning.

A two-year-old has died after falling into a sewage tank in the Mt Liebig Aboriginal community, west of Alice Springs after warnings were issued about securing the lids of such tanks eight months prior (stock image)

A two-year-old has died after falling into a sewage tank in the Mt Liebig Aboriginal community, west of Alice Springs after warnings were issued about securing the lids of such tanks eight months prior (stock image)

A two-year-old has died after falling into a sewage tank in the Mt Liebig Aboriginal community, west of Alice Springs after warnings were issued about securing the lids of such tanks eight months prior (stock image)

NT WorkSafe urged the community to ‘urgently check that the septic tank lids on their property are safe and secured’ after two children survived falls into sewage tanks on separate commercial properties in the eight months prior. 

‘Unsecured or fragile septic tank lids are a major hazard if access to the lid is not limited or controlled.

‘There is a risk of a fatal incident occurring if someone falls into a septic tank, this risk is significantly higher if the person is a young child.’

It also recommended that anyone who operates a sewage tank limit access to – and inspect the lid’s condition – in order to lessen the danger of more incidents.

The warning from NT WorkSafe was issued in August, 2022 after two children survived falls into the tanks on two separate locations in the eight-months prior (pictured, sewage tank in Barkly region which a four-year-old fell into in the week prior to the warning)

The warning from NT WorkSafe was issued in August, 2022 after two children survived falls into the tanks on two separate locations in the eight-months prior (pictured, sewage tank in Barkly region which a four-year-old fell into in the week prior to the warning)

The warning from NT WorkSafe was issued in August, 2022 after two children survived falls into the tanks on two separate locations in the eight-months prior (pictured, sewage tank in Barkly region which a four-year-old fell into in the week prior to the warning)

The first incident occurred when an 18-month-old fell head-first through an unsecured lid and into a septic tank in the Katherine region in December, 2021.

The second incident was in the Territory’s Barkly region when a four-year-old fell into a full septic tank in August, 2022, after using an establishment’s communal toilets.

Both incidents were luckily seen by family members and the children promptly rescued from the tanks.

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the two-year-old’s death has been launched by the NT Police Force (NTPF).  

‘Local clinic staff attended the scene and undertook CPR before stabilising the child,’ a statement from the NTPF reads.

‘An investigation is underway and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.’

NT WorkSafe specifically cautioned about the risk of children dying when falling into a sewage tank if lids on were not safe and secured (pictured, sewage tank lid a child fell through in December, 2021)

NT WorkSafe specifically cautioned about the risk of children dying when falling into a sewage tank if lids on were not safe and secured (pictured, sewage tank lid a child fell through in December, 2021)

NT WorkSafe specifically cautioned about the risk of children dying when falling into a sewage tank if lids on were not safe and secured (pictured, sewage tank lid a child fell through in December, 2021)

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