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    Wink Taking the plunge....eh?!

    Well, no....not in the "marriage" sense of the word...it's more like the "Ed Norton" sense!

    EDMONTON (CP) - They were walking together, as they had so many
    times before, taking a late-night short cut across a grassy field
    to get home from a sports bar.
    Then one of two men suddenly vanished.
    "I was walking right beside him and we were talking, and then
    the next thing I know he's gone," said Ryan Wilson.
    Wilson's friend, Jeff Puder, 25, fell down a 32-metre deep shaft
    - the height of a nine-storey building - in the early morning
    darkness Tuesday.
    "And I could kind of hear him going down, down, down, eh? And I
    just freaked," Wilson said.
    The manhole cover for the shaft, which leads to Edmonton's main
    storm sewer tunnel, was lying beside the hole.
    "I looked down and he was gone. And it sounded like he was
    really, really deep - I didn't know how deep he was," Wilson
    added.
    Wilson peered into the hole but saw nothing but black. He
    shouted and Puder yelled back.
    "He was pretty scared. He was in so much pain, and I couldn't
    do a thing about it," Wilson said.
    Wilson ran to Puder's townhouse, told another friend call 911,
    then they raced back to the shaft.
    Puder's pleas for help were echoing off the sides of the shaft.
    "He was saying, `Get help,' and `I can't hold on,"' Wilson
    said.
    "And I was saying, `Buddy, you can do it. Help is on the
    way."'
    Eight firefighters set up a rope-and-pulley system, suspended
    from a metal tripod over the narrow shaft, said Capt. Dave
    Pointon.
    Firefighter Russ Kocuper, the leanest of the bunch at six feet
    tall and 175 pounds, was lowered down the shaft, which is only 60
    centimetres wide.
    Fifteen metres down, Kocuper lost radio contact with
    firefighters on the surface. The shaft was so deep that more rope
    had to be added to permit the descent.
    "It was like being in a small, cold cave all the way down,"
    Kocuper said. "It seemed like it was going down forever and ever
    and when I finally reached the bottom, he was alive. I was just
    shocked."
    He found Puder lying on his stomach in a half-metre deep stream
    of water, holding his head out of the water with one arm.
    "He just kept telling me how he wanted to get out of that
    situation, how he had enough, how he wanted to leave," Kocuper
    said.
    Kocuper comforted Puder, then helped him into a safety harness
    before manoeuvring him from the chamber back up into the shaft.
    Then he clipped himself back into the rope system and yelled for
    them to be pulled up.
    Puder was in stable condition Tuesday afternoon, said a Capital
    Health spokesman.
    Leah Evans, Puder's girlfriend, said he had surgery for serious
    fractures to his legs and spine.
    Pointon said Puder could have drowned if he had been knocked
    unconscious. His "stocky" build, especially his well-developed
    upper body, also helped, Pointon said.
    "He's a big boy, and that's what saved him. (The shaft) was a
    tight fit, so he kind of rattled all the way down. It injured him
    but it saved his life."
    City workers have locked the 90-kilogram manhole cover in place
    and police are investigating why the cover was off. (Edmonton
    Journal)


    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

    For you youngsters....Ed Norton appeared with Ralph Kramden in the "Honeymooners" TV show....(1955) and worked in the sewers of NYC.
    Last edited by NJFFSA16; 06-25-2003 at 02:51 AM.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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