FDNY Rescues Workers from Elevator at Con Ed Facility

NY 1 - July 06, 2017

by Jose Martinez

Firefighters carried out a daring rescue deep beneath Brooklyn Wednesday to pull four workers stuck inside an elevator. NY1's Jose Martinez has more.

Hundreds of feet beneath Brooklyn, deep down this shaft, firefighters carried out a delicate rescue Monday to reach four trapped workers — one by one.

"It's unusual, but we're comfortable enough with these types of things that they're safe, and you know, professional," said FDNY Lt. Sean Parker.

The workers were trapped inside a steamy elevator cab more than twenty stories underground beneath a Con Edison substation.

Rescue crews got the call just after 7:30 am that the workers were stranded, leading to an intricate operation to pull them to safety.

"On our arrival we were able to access them quickly and find out none of them were suffering from life-threatening injuries," said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Wayne Cartwright. "But knew it would be a long and arduous procedure to extricate them safely."

The workers had been on their way to an underground utility tunnel running between Brooklyn and Manhattan when they got stranded.

Firefighters had to use pulleys to lower themselves some 220 feet below ground to reach the trapped workers.

"We set up a rope and it's basically used like an elevator," Lt. Parker said. "So it goes over a pulley and it goes down into the shaft. A 200 foot lift is a long lift so it involves a lot of personnel."

Three hours after they became trapped, the men were loaded onto stretchers and taken to Brooklyn Medical Center. Fire officials said they suffered minor injuries, likely when the elevator jolted to a stop.

"They were great," said Lt. Parker. "They were honestly all very calm. They were hurt a little bit but noone really was in a lot of pain."

"Considering it was such a deep rescue operation, I think they're very lucky," said FDNY Chief Medical Director Dr. Glenn Asaeda.

In a statement, a Con Edison spokesman wrote: "Members of the FDNY showed once again today why they are the best at what they do. We are grateful for their efforts and the assistance of all emergency responders who participated in this rescue."