At 7:45 a.m. on Thursday, May 21, firefighters responded to a report that a man had fallen and may have been injured next to the Washington Street Public Boat Landing at the intersection of South Washington Street and Alaskan Way South. When firefighters arrived they found a 60-year old male who fell approximately 10 feet into a hole after a section of cement collapsed underneath him. Firefighters reported that the fill dirt around the patient and large sections of remaining overhead concrete were both unstable. A Heavy Rescue response was requested, which includes Seattle Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team.
The patient told firefighters that he was not hurt. Firefighters worked in a coordinated effort to stabilize the soil and the concrete using ladders, wood, separators, air bags and rope. They drilled a bolt into one piece of unstable concrete and tied it to a nearby pole so that if the slab of cement were to break it would not fall down on the patient. When the hole was stabilized, two firefighters entered the hole and cut off the patient’s backpack and shirt sleeve which were pinned down by a large slab of cement.
Once the patient was free, he was put in a rescue harness. The aerial ladder on a ladder truck was extended over the sidewalk and used to raise the patient out of the hole. The man was complaining of minor back pain and was transported to Harborview Medical Center for further evaluation.