Updated 07/13/2012 03:48 PM
Man rescued after industrial plant accident
Between 50 and 60 people took part in a rescue effort Friday morning in Bradford County after a 52-year-old man fell into a trench of gravel at an industrial plant. Our Bill Mich has the details of the rescue.
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BRADFORD COUNTY, Pa. -- Early Friday morning at the Eastern Industries Northern Division Sheshequin Plant in Bradford County, crews were trying to figure out what was causing a clog of gravel in one of the plant's big pieces of machinery.
"The gentleman was walking over the area to kind of survey the situation when the ground gave loose which sucked him down in. He was approximately five feet underground," said Ulster-Sheshequin Fire Department Chief Steve Bixby.
For about two hours, a 52-year-old man was not only five feet underground, but buried in gravel from his waist to his neck as his legs dangled below him. The pressure on the man's midsection made it difficult to breathe, so oxygen was lowered down to him while crews worked to get him free.
"It was quite a tedious operation. Any wrong move could have caused the gravel to, kind of, further collapse and bury him further," said Bixby.
Eastern Industries did not want to comment on the event and rescuers could not say if human error played a part in the incident. Ulster-Sheshequin Fire Chief Bixby said the plant will most likely remain closed Friday as investigators determine the cause of the accident.
As for the man who was rescued, authorities say he was able to escape with only minor injuries.
"He wanted to walk out, but was taken to the hospital for precautionary measures," said Bixby.
Bixby said he has been the fire chief in the area since the plant opened and this is the first time an incident like that has occurred.