Subway Worker Rescued in 'Quicksand' Ordeal

Meanwhile, 19 miners rescued in Poland

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 20, 2013 8:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – More than 140 rescue workers converged on a New York subway construction project last night after a worker became trapped in a 75-foot-deep tunnel, sunk up to his waist in what an FDNY source described as "cement-like" mud, the New York Post reports. After a host of failed rescue attempts, firefighters had to resort to digging him out with their hands, finally freeing him with a rope and bucket crane at 12:28 this morning. By that point, he was suffering from hypothermia.

"The slurry and soil mixture acted like quicksand," the fire chief explained. "We were concerned that the water would rise and cover his face." The dramatic episode wasn't the day's only subterranean rescue: Emergency responders in Poland rescued 19 miners today, after an earthquake left them trapped in a collapsed tunnel 2,000 feet underground, the BBC reports. All the miners emerged relatively unscathed.

A worker, with black fire helmet at left inside a construction transport bucket, is rescued from an MTA subway construction project in New York, March 20, 2013 after being trapped in debris for hours.
A worker, with black fire helmet at left inside a construction transport bucket, is rescued from an MTA subway construction project in New York, March 20, 2013 after being trapped in debris for hours.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Officers of the New York City police Emergency Services Unit, covered in mud and dirt, walk to a waiting bus to warm up after rescuing a trapped subway construction worker, March 20, 2013.
Officers of the New York City police Emergency Services Unit, covered in mud and dirt, walk to a waiting bus to warm up after rescuing a trapped subway construction worker, March 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
A construction transport bucket, right, is moved into place during an attempt to save a worker at an MTA subway construction project in New York, March 19, 2013.
A construction transport bucket, right, is moved into place during an attempt to save a worker at an MTA subway construction project in New York, March 19, 2013.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
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