Thursday, January 17, 2013

Woman freed after becoming stuck between walls

A woman stuck for four hours between an apartment building and a 20-foot wall in Portland, Oregon has been rescued by firefighters. The rescue effort started at around 3:30am on Wednesday between the Joyce Furman building and the Gretchen Kafoury Commons.

The woman was alert and talking to crews as they worked to rescue her. At one point, firefighters had to reassess their plan because the concrete dust being created was causing breathing issues for the woman. Firefighters pulled away a portion of the wall, then used airbags to create space between the walls to reach her.

YouTube link.

With the help of some soapy water being used as lubrication, firefighters slid the woman between the walls to safety. "That last couple feet, she had that look of determination. I think we were all pretty convinced that no matter what, she was coming out that way," said Lt. Rich Chatman. "When she got to that last foot, she looked over and she said, 'I'm coming out.'"

She celebrated once firefighters were able to get her free. She did not appear to have significant injuries, but paramedics took her away to an ambulance immediately. "Just to see the look on her face when she got out made the effort worth it," Chatman said. It's not clear how the woman ended up stuck between the walls.

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