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MAN INJURED IN HAY BALER

THONOTOSASSA

A man was flown to Tampa General Hospital after he was injured by a hay baler Tuesday on a farm in eastern Hillsborough County, the Sheriff's Office said.

James Miltner, 60, was trapped by the baler at about 2:30 p.m. while working in a field on Franklin Road.

A hydraulic bar came down on the gate of the hay baler, pinning Miltner between the bar and the gate, the Sheriff's Office said.

He was alert and speaking to emergency workers.

His injuries weren't life-threatening, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said. Miltner was in fair condition at the hospital Tuesday night.

Hay balers account for about half of farm injuries in the United States, according to the National Safety Council.

They usually happen when heavy bales roll over people or when a person's hair or clothing get caught in the machine, Florida agricultural extension services agent Mary Beth Henry said.

The injuries often lead to death or require amputations, said Carol Lehtola, a safety specialist with the extension services.

"It compresses 1,000 pounds of hay into a bale," she said. "If it's hay or it's a person, it doesn't care."

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

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