Girl Falls Into Open Manhole, Rescued By Buffalo Fire

WBEN Photo


A 12-year-old girl was rescued after she fell into an open manhole on a South Buffalo sidewalk Tuesday morning and spent approximately one hour in the water there.

"A by-passer was talking his daily walk and heard her screaming," Buffalo Fire Dept. Capt. Dan O'Leary told WBEN.

The girl, whose name was not released, was walking along South Legion Drive near Rutland Street when she fell. In an update late Tuesday morning, Acting Fire Commissioner Jonathan Eaton told reporters that a call came in at 8:28 a.m., nearly an hour after she fell 12 feet in the manhole.

"We used assistance of a ladder and a rope and she actually helped herself for the rescue," Eaton said. "There was no work being done based on the sewer authority's report. However, the manhole cover was off and it was determined that it was located in a yard a ways down the street."

The girl was treated for a break on her lower leg at Women and Children's Hospital.

Fire officials did not say why the manhole on Rutland St. near South Legion Drive was uncovered and the girl's name is not public. The manhole weighs approximately 150 pounds and needed to be pried open. Officials are still investigating why the manhole cover was removed.

Above the manhole the smell of sewage was clear and Eaton said it could have been toxic.

"There is a depletion of oxygen down there," he said. "It's good that she just suffered a lower leg injury. It could have been a lot worse."

The confined space rescue team are specially trained to rescue people like the girl today.

HEAR MORE: Buffalo Fire Captain Dan O'Leary

Young Girl Rescued From South Buffalo Sewer - Buffalo Fire Captain Dan O'Leary


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