Fla. Crews Pull Two Workers From Water Tower

Tactical rescue teams have pulled two injured workers from inside the Hollywood Water Tower.


Tactical rescue teams have pulled two injured workers from inside the Hollywood Water Tower.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. --

Tactical rescue teams have pulled two injured workers from inside the Hollywood Water Tower.

From Sky 10 overhead, rescuers could be seen strapping the worker to a back board, which they attached to a harness. One rescuer strapped into a harness, as well, and the rescuers at the top of the tower lowered the rescuer and the injured man 160 feet to the ground below.

The worker was then put into an ambulance as efforts to bring the second worker to the ground continued.

Hollywood Fire Rescue officials said the workers were sandblasting the inside of the structure Friday morning when the scaffolding collapsed beneath them. The men fell to the bottom of tank, which officials said was about a 45-foot drop.

The two workers were seriously injured, officials said. Officials said one of the men was unconscious, and one of them had a broken leg.

One worker tried to call 911 but could not, so he called his employer, who then contacted authorities.

Broward County and Hollywood Fire Rescue teams are working to help the trapped men. From Sky 10 overhead, rescuers could be seen on the top of the water tower.

The rescue is made more difficult by the victims' location inside the belly of the water tower, which was drained of all water before the work began.

Raelin Storey, of the city of Hollywood, said rescuers likely will need to rappel down inside the tank, provide medical care to the injured workers and then extricate them.

Officials said rescuers would have to maneuver their equipment through a small opening at the top of the tower.

Crews have been working to give the 50-year-old water tower a makeover, repairing rust spots, sandblasting the steel surface and giving it a fresh coat of paint.

The water tower is 160 feet tall, and workers are required to wear safety harnesses and be hooked to the railing.

The injured workers are contractors with Utilities Service Corp.

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