Farmers rescue 70 cows from barn collapse in Lincoln, N.B.

The Canadian Press ~ The News
Published on February 2, 2009

LINCOLN, N.B. Two cows are dead after a barn collapse in New Brunswick that could have been much worse if not for a group of local farmers.

More than 70 milking cows and young heifers were inside George and Julia Bourques barn Lincoln when the right side and centre of the building caved in shortly before noon Saturday.

About 20 cows were rescued moments after the collapse through a small space on the left side of the barn.

A hay feeder held part of the ceiling and one side of the roof high enough for farmers to herd some of the cattle to safety.

The rest of the cows were trapped with many pinned tightly to the ground.

Word spread of the accident and within an hour farmers from Stanley, Keswick, Millville, Davidson Lake and beyond showed up to help save the familys livelihood.

The Bourques didnt even have to ask for help.

It says a lot about George, Julia and (their son) Vaughan when you see so many friends and members of the farming community rushing to help, said Craig Penk, a University of New Brunswick student who works part-time on the Bourque farm. You couldnt ask for nicer people.

The Fredericton Fire Department responded to the scene to help brace what was left of the structure.

Two tractors were used to hold the remaining walls in place while the firemen and several farmers braved going inside of the unstable structure to push cows away from the chainsaws and metal cutters being used to free them.