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Cave-in Rescue in Hammond

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HMD Fire Russell Gould

In north Hammond Tuesday, crews used the Jaws of Life to rescue a 47-year-old man who became buried up to his shoulders in dirt. Hammond Fire Chief Jeff Smith tells the Region News Team the man apparently was trying to do some waterproofing and had been digging outside the perimeter of the house in the 500 block of 137th Street, possibly about 18-inches out from the edge of the house, with a sidewalk nearby. After digging about four-to-five-feet down, along the length of the house, the sidewalk collapsed and pinned the man up against the house along with dirt that caved in. Shortly before 10 am, Smith says a neighbor walking by heard him yelling for help and called 911.  It took crews nearly an hour-and-a-half to dig the man out, using shovels and Jaws of Life tools to try to push away the concrete and free the mans legs, which were trapped.  A medical helicopter landed at nearby Pulaski Park and flew the man from the scene. Chief Smith says there was concern the man might have suffered broken leg bones and other injuries.  Smith says he believes the man was in good condition. Smith says he's never seen anything like this before. He also says they don't know yet how long the man was trapped before his cries for help were heard. Hammond Water Department crews also responded.  [Photo/Russell Gould]
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