Denver FFs Rescue Man from Manhole


Denver firefighters rescued a worker trapped in a manhole at 8th Avenue and Logan Street Monday morning.

The man was working on a fiber-optic cable in the manhole when he fell off a ladder and landed in a small concrete vault where he became trapped just after 11 a.m.

"He suffered some significant injuries in the fall. He fell from a ladder in the hole, approximately 12 feet," said Denver Fire Department Lt. Phil Champagne. "We're not sure if the ladder was a fixed part of the manhole vault or it if was a ladder that was brought to the scene. It appears that it was a fixed ladder inside the hole."

According to Champagne, the man worked for Fiber Net Incorporated and was doing contract work for Qwest.

Firefighters used a tripod-like device to hoist the man from the confined space, using pulleys and ropes.

"We were able to set up a tripod to be able to lift and hoist the gentleman out of the hole," said Champagne.

The man was loaded onto a stretcher and into an ambulance at 11:18 a.m.; 14 minutes after emergency crews received the call.

"About 28 firefighters on scene almost immediately, it's relatively close to the fire stations," said Champagne.

The intersection where the worker was trapped is on the northeast corner of the Governor's Mansion.

Champagne expects the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to investigate the fall.

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