An Argos staff member has told of the horrific moment he thought he was going to die after he was pulled into a conveyor belt.
Sean Connolly (21 at the time) had been working as a temp at the company for 17 years. But, the Christmas of 2007 will be a memory he will never forget.
The young man was working alone in the stockroom with a H&M scarf looped around his neck as he was feeling the December chill at the East Kilbride store, Scotland.
He was doing a great job on his delivery duties until he noticed that the conveyor belt had stopped. The scarf became too tight and he fell to the ground.
He recounted his terrifying experience for the Guardian: “I peered down the moving conveyor belt to make sure no stock had got stuck; it was standard procedure. That’s when both ends of my scarf – snugly wrapped around my windpipe – were yanked into the machinery.
“Consumed by pure panic, I tried to pull back. But by tightening the material around my throat, my scarf was sucked in further. There was an emergency stop – but in the split-second, I had to think, it didn’t cross my mind to reach for it. Then it was out of reach.
“It all happened so fast. I ran out of options almost immediately. The conveyor belt starts with large metal rollers and ends in a section more akin to a checkout.
“My head was edging closer to the gap between them, where it would be crushed. I found a moment of calm acceptance in certain death.
“I was overcome with panic and tried to pull my belt back. My scarf got sucked into my throat by me tightening it. There was an emergency stop – but in the split-second, I had to think, it didn’t cross my mind to reach for it.”
Connolly told the publication that he was struggling to breathe and his head was getting closer and closer to being crushed.
He couldn’t even speak, let alone yell, so there was no way to call for help. No other staff members could see him except if he went upstairs to use the bathroom.
Gary, a work friend, came up to check on Sean but couldn’t tell whether he was making a joke of him.
He put the conveyor in reverse and freed Sean.
The 21-year-old was then taken to hospital for an inspection of the burns and lacerations and to have an X-ray.
After the adrenaline rush had subsided, his pain intensified and he was overwhelmed by the gravity of what had just occurred.
He sobbed uncontrollably as he had felt he was on “borrowed time.”
Connolly claims he left a mark on Argos as his tale is told to warn others, while the store has reportedly banned ties and scarfs from the conveyor room.
The Daily Star reached out to Argos for comment.
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