LAFD Rescues Man Trapped 50' Below Ground at Construction Site

Thursday, October 27, 2016
LAFD Firefighters Prepare to Rescue Man Trapped 50' Below Ground
Los Angeles Firefighters prepare to rescue a man trapped in a 50' deep, 24" diameter hole.
Photo Credits: 
Creative Commons Licensed - Credit: LAFD Photo | Peter Sanders

Firefighters took less than an hour Thursday morning, to safely rescue a man trapped 50 feet below ground at a residential construction site in a 2 foot diameter excavation.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 8:38 AM on October 27, 2016, to a confined space rescue at 1600 San Ysidro Drive, in the Beverly Crest neighborhood of Los Angeles. According to witnesses, a truck driver delivering reinforcement steel (rebar), parked his truck on the 15,085 square-foot lot where a new home was being constructed.

Stepping a short distance from his vehicle, the 30 year-old man plunged suddenly to the bottom of a 24" diameter, 50' deep hole related to the construction, that was earlier believed to have been covered with plywood. 

Workers at the scene immediately called 9-1-1, bringing the swift response of 56 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, including members of the LAFD's Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team, who are specially trained and equipped for handling such matters.

As firefighters secured the scene and stabilized edges of the narrow hole with plywood, the LAFD USAR team established contact with the victim, while introducing a confined space ventilation and communication system.

Discovering the man to be awake, able to move slightly, and upright on compact soil, the USAR team lowered a rescue harness tied to a rope, which the man was able to secure about his torso. Using the aerial ladder of an LAFD truck in a crane-like fashion, the victim was gently lifted by use of the truck's winch, bringing him to safety at 9:35 AM.

Following a primary medical assessment that identified only lacerations and bruises to the man's face, he was taken by LAFD Paramedics in fair condition, to a nearby hospital for a full medical evaluation. No other persons were injured. 

The City's Department of Building & Safety, and Cal/OSHA, which both sent representatives to the scene, will be handling the investigation.


Dispatched Units: E71 RA71 E108 E278 T78 HR56 EM14 BC9 T27 E227 E27 UR27 RA27 BC5 E99 RA827 UR88 T88 E288 E88 CM42 BC18 RA88 BC14 CM51 RA71

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