PONTIAC — A man is recovering in a Peoria hospital after he was pulled to safety when a hole caved in on him Wednesday as he worked in front of a residence in Pontiac.
The man’s identity has not been released. His condition was not available Thursday morning, and details of the event itself remain slim.
Pontiac Fire Chief Jacob Campbell said the fire department was called at 3:25 p.m. to 702 Countryside Lane where the man was trapped from the waist down in a hole between the sidewalk and the street. Another man was in the trench attempting to free the victim.
At 7:16 p.m., rescue workers were able to pull him from the trench. He was transported to OSF Saint James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center and then taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria by OSF Life Flight.
“Pontiac Fire Command requested a rescue box alarm that included the MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) Division 41 and 25 technical rescue teams due to the complexity of the rescue,” he said.
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Normal Battalion Chief Ed Collins said a technical rescue team from Normal Fire Department team made contact with the trapped man when they first arrived and he was conscious and talking. At the time, emergency personnel said hypothermia could be a concern.
The Pontiac Fire Department was assisted at the scene by Duffy Ambulance Service, Pontiac Police Department, Pontiac Wastewater and Treatment Plant, Pontiac Street Department, Livingston County Sheriff’s Department, Forrest Fire Rehabilitation Unit, MABAS 25 Technical Rescue Team, OSF Saint James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center EMS Department, Cullom and Flanagan-Graymont Fire Protection districts, SELCAS (South East Livingston County Ambulance Service), city of Pontiac and Pontiac Rural Fire Protection District.
Hoffrichter Lumber Yard, H J Eppel & Company, and Opperman Construction provided additional supplies and equipment to rescue personnel during the event, Campbell said.
The man was working for Popejoy Plumbing and Heating, which is based in Fairbury and has an office in Pontiac. Calls for comment were not returned Thursday morning.
This story will be updated.