Firefighters Save Worker in NY Underground Tunnel

Associated Press - February 11, 2011

NEW YORK - Specially trained New York City firefighters have rescued an injured worker trapped deep underground in a tunnel being constructed for the nation's largest commuter railroad.

Fire Department of New York Lt. Peter Blaich says firefighters climbed down 50 feet and hoisted the worker from the Long Island Rail Road tunnel using a metal basket.

The worker was removing debris with a giant payloader 150 feet below street level Thursday. His machine collided with another. He fell and hurt his right arm and shoulder.

The FDNY says the worker's crew pulled him up nearly 75 feet. Firefighters got him to the surface. He's been hospitalized.

The firefighters respond to emergencies at major underground projects such as the LIRR expansion and Manhattan's Second Avenue subway line. Blaich says new training and equipment saved them precious minutes.