Nevada Firefighters Rescue Crane Operator From 58th Floor

In a real-life high-wire stunt a construction worker had to be plucked from a crane where he laid injured, 58 floors up at the under construction Wynn Las Vegas Resort.

Eyewitness News lead the coverage on this story all day. Rescuers told us the man fell out of the cab of his crane 10 feet to a steel platform, injuring his back. The crane company safety manager believed a door latch failed, which sent the operator, Jacob Raines, tumbling out of the cab.

Working near the top, fire fighters decided to rescue Raines by using the crane he normally operates. Attaching a basket to the end fire crews strapped Raines in for a slow ride to the ground.

Captain John Steinbech from Clark County Heavy Rescue says, "Ropes and crane ops that is our last resort. We would much rather bring bring him down an elevator." Captian Steinbech is the one who makes the decision on how to perform a rescue. He usually has a preliminary plan before he arrives at an emergency situation. In this case fire fighters made a change.

"We were going to bring him down to the 53rd floor and bring him in the elevator down. But the crane is actually smoother then the construction elevators," adds the heavy rescue captain. Emergency crews wanted to get Raines down without jolting him because of his back injuries.

The dramatic rescue was captured live by our Chopper 8 helicopter team.

Raines' co-workers and other construction workers watched from the ground. The scene just emphasizes what Eddie Ramirez thinks about at work -- that he has a dangerous job. "I think about that every day. It's something we have to live with."

Raines was taken to University Medical Center. He was in a lot of pain, but is expected to be okay. There will be an OSHA investigation into what happened. The crane company has also started its own investigation.

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