Tonawanda News — Emergency workers pulled an injured construction worker out of a muddy, 10-foot-deep hole Monday morning at Tonawanda High School while crews were setting in place a light pole for the district's new football stadium.
"They had put the 60-foot high light standards for the new football field into the hole and they were getting ready to put in the concrete," Michael Young, assistant chief for the Tonawanda City Fire Department, said of the incident. "He lost his footing, went down in the hole and was pinned between the light standard and the hole. He was in there pretty good."
Young said the accident happened at 10:03 a.m. on Monday. The man, whose name will not be released, was surrounded by dozens of coworkers, fire fighters and other first responders who all assisted in the rescue.
The severity of the injury was immediately clear.
"His leg was in the opposite position it should have been," Young said.
Two rescuers were sent into the hole and attached a harness to the injured worker, who Young believes was an electrician. The 60-foot light was then hooked to a fork lift to free him from the awkward position. The man was pulled out in a Stokes basket.
"We pulled it to one side and put in a ladder," Young said. "His leg was broken so we splinted it and got him out of there. It was a mud hole."
After the 20-minute ordeal ended, the man was sent to the Erie County Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries to his left leg.
"He was conscious the whole time and in quite a bit of pain," Young said.
Crews are still in the early stages of adding the light poles to the new stadium and athletic field, with plans still on course to finish the capital project by the start of the season in September.
Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.