Two camera operators hurt in fall from mobile platform at racecourse

Two camera operators are being treated by emergency services after falling from the mobile platform they were working on at a racecourse in South Lanarkshire.

One of the men has been taken to Wishaw General Hospital after the incident at Hamilton Park Racecourse on Tuesday afternoon, while police say the other is being treated at the scene.

It is thought the men – identified as freelance camera operators Robbie Cotgrave and Kit Campbell – fell from a cherry-picker onto a RaceTech van below, ahead of races which were then abandoned.

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A spokesman for RaceTech said: “Following a serious incident prior to the first race at Hamilton Park involving a mobile elevated camera platform, two freelance camera operators Robbie Cotgrave and Kit Campbell have been seriously injured and taken to hospital.

“A full investigation is underway into the cause of the incident.

“Our thoughts and concerns are very much with our two colleagues at this time.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service told the PA news agency two ambulances and two rapid response vehicles were dispatched to the scene at 1.38pm.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) were called at 1.35pm with two appliances sent to the scene while Police Scotland were called at about 1.50pm.

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Hamilton Park Racecourse also confirmed the incident on Twitter, saying: “Unfortunately, racing today has been abandoned due to an accident involving camera crew at the course.

“Ticket holders will be contacted with regards to transfer of ticket or refund. Sending our thoughts and very best wishes to all involved.”

The first race was scheduled for 2.15pm, with that time initially revised to 2.45pm before a further delay was announced as emergency services attended the incident.

Just after 3.35pm an announcement was made over the loudspeaker that racing had been abandoned.

Clerk of the course, Harriet Graham, confirmed the incident involved two RaceTech employees, who operate the cameras on site.

She said: “About half an hour before the first race an incident happened involving RaceTech operators and a hoist.

“Our emergency teams reacted immediately and then we needed to call the fire service and ambulances, so we had three fire engines on site and the police.

“It took them a long time to assess the situation and extract them and take them off to hospital. During this time the timeline became more and more extended.

“The decision was we would wait for CID to arrive to see if we could continue racing, but they indicated they wouldn’t be making a decision in the short term.

“So, we held a stewards’ inquiry and the decision was made to call off racing.

“Whilst that is a big decision, we felt we had no timeline for when we could start racing and the main thing is all our thoughts are with the two guys who have gone off to hospital for further assessment. Let’s hope they are OK.”

Hamilton Park Racecourse
Just after 3.35pm an announcement was made over the loudspeaker that racing had been abandoned (Lynne Cameron/PA)

She added: “In the bigger picture, racing is secondary in this situation. A nasty accident has happened, two people are injured.

“They are having the best care they could have and received immediate attention.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Around 1.50pm on Tuesday, 29 June, police were called to a report of two men falling from a mobile platform at Hamilton Race Course.

“Emergency services are in attendance and one man has been taken to Wishaw General Hospital for treatment. The second man is currently being treated at the scene.

“Inquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident.”

A SFRS spokeswoman said: “We were alerted at 1.35pm on Tuesday, June 29 to an incident at Hamilton Park Racecourse, Hamilton.

“Operations Control mobilised two appliances to the scene and using an aerial rescue pump firefighters rescued two male casualties who had fallen onto the roof of a vehicle before handing them into the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“Crews left the scene after ensuring the area was made safe and there were no further reported casualties.”

A statement from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) added: “Everybody at the BHA is concerned by the reports from Hamilton this afternoon and our thoughts are with the two RaceTech employees who have been injured.

“We wish both a full and speedy recovery.”