Local News

Emergency crews pull AT&T worker from open manhole

Posted August 22

— Emergency crews worked Tuesday afternoon to pull an AT&T worker from an open manhole in west Raleigh.

The worker was part of a team pulling fiber lines along Chapel Hill Road near Interstate 40 when he fell into the manhole, authorities said. He was conscious after the 15-foot fall, but he was unable to get out of the hole.

"He's lucky that he is alive. He could have fell head first. He is really lucky to be alive," co-worker Jonathan Murray said.

Emergency workers had to file the permit for a confined space rescue required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – crews need to make sure that the hole is free of toxic fumes before sending anyone else in – before they could send a harness down the manhole so the worker could be extricated.

The worker was rushed to a nearby hospital, but there was no word on his condition.

One lane of Chapel Hill Road was closed during the rescue operation.

5 Comments

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  • Wayne R. Douglas Aug 23, 3:29 a.m.
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    Actually UBEN HAD, that is exactly what it means. Had the firemen not obtained the proper approval and anyone were to be injured or killed, the city would have been on the hook for an expensive lawsuit. When I worked for Halliburton cementing oil wells, we had someone fall into a mixture of dry cement. We could not just go in after him, due to the approval process. By the time we got him out, he had suffocated by breathing in the cement powder. Because Halliburton (us) followed the letter of the law, Halliburton could not be sued. Neither could the feds be sued, because it is law.

  • Donald Holder Aug 22, 7:22 p.m.
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    I'm sure his union rep is already working on the lawsuit against the city and AT&T.

  • Jerry Sawyer Aug 22, 6:16 p.m.
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    It is good to hear they completed a permit required confined space permit before they proceeded with the rescue. They could have entered without the permit with a Scott Air PAC if the man's life was in immediate danger. The permit is used to assure no rescuer would be injured. The injured person failed to stay focused on his surroundings. ☹️

  • Uben Had Aug 22, 5:14 p.m.
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    Emergency workers had to file the permit for a confined space rescue required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration before sending a harness down the manhole so the worker could be extricated.

    Does this mean that before the man could be rescued, the rescuers had to stop and apply for a permit? If yes, how bureaucratic have we become?

  • Wayne R. Douglas Aug 22, 2:55 p.m.
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    How does one just fall into a manhole? He had to know it was uncovered, since he was doing the work. Maybe he had his nose plastered to his cell phone, like that Chinese dude on the motor scooter yesterday.