Sydney news: Total fire bans as temperatures soar, man in critical condition after 100 stair fall
Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Total fire bans
Total fire bans are in place today for the Central Ranges, Greater Hunter, North Western and Far South Coast areas today, ahead of hot and windy conditions.
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service said there is also a very high fire danger for most coastal parts of the state.
Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-thirties, with north-westerly wind gusts of up to 30 kilometres per hour.
As of 5:00pm Thursday, there were 48 bush and grass fires burning across the state with 18 yet to be contained.
Man critical after 100-stair fall
A man is in a critical condition after falling 10 metres down an escalator at a Sydney train station while riding in his electric wheelchair.
The man, aged in his 50s, was knocked unconscious after falling down 100 stairs of the escalator at Macquarie Park Station, shortly before 6:00pm Thursday.
Emergency services, including the CareFlight helicopter, treated the man at the scene before he was taken by ambulance to Royal North Shore hospital.
In a separate incident, CareFlight also attended to a 62-year-old man in Leura who suffered critical injuries to his head, chest and abdomen after he fell 4 metres from a truck and was crushed by 100 kilograms of wood.
Surf Life Saving racehorse statement
Surf Life Saving NSW is pulling out of a fundraising event over concerns of its members about the treatment of racehorses.
Racing NSW offered the organisation the chance to fundraise at the Bondi Stakes at Randwick on Saturday but CEO Steven Pearce said several factors led to the decision not to participate.
“Challenges included coordinating volunteer lifesavers to collect donations at the race day at short notice and other logistics around finalising an agreement between SLS NSW and Racing NSW,” he said.
“Another consideration in the decision not to participate was concerns raised by some of our members relating to the broadcast of a story on the ABC’s 7:30 program, critical of the treatment of racehorses in NSW and Queensland.”
Call for strip-search ban
New data obtained by the ABC shows less than a third of strip searches carried out by NSW police in the past financial year found illicit drugs.
Out of 5,362 strip searches conducted by officers, 3,546 did not result in the discovery of a prohibited drug, according to data requested by Greens MP David Shoebridge.
He said it strengthened his call to ban strip searches, which he described as “appallingly abusive programs” which produced “terrible results” for NSW police.
The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission’s public hearing into the use of strip searches this week heard evidence from senior police that many searches conducted during the 2018 Splendour in the Grass event may have been unlawful.
Dark Dream turns to nightmare
A champion mare bought for just $500 to save it from the knackery is at the centre of a Supreme Court case between its owner and a stablehand, with allegations of theft, defamation and “unconscionable” conduct.
Dark Dream won the 2018 Queensland Derby but stablehand Jessica Wilson says she was forced out of a share in the horse and was defamed in racing circles by its owner, Mary Jane Basson.
Ms Basson denies the allegations, and has launched a cross-claim for money she contends was stolen from her by Ms Wilson “over a long period” of time.
Ms Basson knocked back a $2 million offer to buy Dark Dream before it won the Queensland Derby.
GP charged with sexual assaulting patient
An Illawarra doctor has been charged with the alleged sexual assault of a patient over a two-year period.
Balgownie general practitioner Thean Soo Chin, 58, allegedly sexually touched and committed sexual acts on one of his 56-year-old male patients over a two-year period.
Police arrested Mr Soo Chin yesterday after executing a search warrant at his medical practice before charging him with two counts of sexual touching and two counts of aggravated sexual assault.
During his first appearance in Wollongong Court yesterday, he was refused bail and will appear again via video link in the coming weeks.