Firefighters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, rescued a breast cancer walk participant on Saturday morning after she got stuck on a railway bridge as it was lifting into the air. The 55-year-old Dania Beach woman, whose identity was not released, ended up hanging onto the bridge by her hands and feet as it moved into an upright position. Witnesses said she stayed calm as she held on for half an hour, about 22 feet above the train tracks, until her rescue.
Many of those who watched the situation unfold were, like the woman, wearing pink shirts from the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk. Firefighters responded to multiple 911 calls about the woman, who told firefighters she took part in the cancer walk earlier in the morning, Fort Lauderdale city spokesman Matt Little said.
The people that the woman was with were crying and begging for people to call police for help and for their friend to hold on, Powell said. “They harnessed the ladder up against the actual tracks and a firefighter went and got her and we were all clapping, like we were just amazed," Powell said. A crowd of spectators cheered when firefighters rescued the frightened woman using the 24-foot ladder, Little said. She was not injured.
It's not known why she was on the railroad bridge, Little said. Signs say "No Trespassing, " and there is a pedestrian walkway on the nearby Andrews Avenue bridge. Witness Philip Glazebrook said he was surprised that she crossed the bridge in the first place because it gives a loud warning before it rises. “This bridge is controlled from Tallahassee. There’s not a bridge minder here anymore,” Glazebrook said. “So she’s stuck on the bridge and she’s going up. The next thing is, she’s stuck, straddled like Jesus Christ.”