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Rescue Challenge in Kalamazoo

Man Trapped in Dry Concrete Powder

KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, MICHIGAN, FIREFIGHTERS were faced with an unusual challenge Monday after a man fell into a dry concrete mixer.  He was 30 feet above ground in storage bin, up to his chest in dry product and unable to move.

MLive.com reported:

Sam Dole, 51, was helping cut down a tree with Allen Newhouse, 54, in his backyard neighboring Consumers Concrete Corporation on East Michigan Avenue when they heard someone yelling, he said.

"He was yelling 'Help' really bad," Dole said. "We heard him hollering and went and told his people."

They were the first eyewitnesses to hear the yelling coming from the mixer shaft around 2:30 p.m., they said. One of the Consumers employees ran up to check on the man and found him trapped in concrete dust up to his chest, Dole said.

MLive.com

The call came in around 2:30 pm Monday and the FD set up operations at the bin by first securing the victim with ropes to prevent his falling further into the concrete powder.  The Comstock and Portage FD's were called to assist in the operation which took just under four hours to free him.  The procedure included cutting the top off of the storage bin to allow the rescue rigging to be set up.

The victim was apparently uninjured and walking around without seeming distress following the rescue, but he was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Plant officials say that he is a part-time employee and was in an unauthorized area when he had his mishap.

MLive has the early story HERE and the follow-up on the completed rescue HERE.

Thanks to Mark Donovan

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