Man Falls Into Manhole, Is Swept a Mile Through Sewers

'Amazing' that he lived through it, city official says after rescue in Omaha, Nebraska
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 8, 2023 9:00 AM CDT
Man Falls Into Manhole, Is Swept a Mile Through Sewers
Omaha firefighters look for one of two men swept into a manhole during a rainstorm in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday.   (Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

Firefighters rescued two Nebraska men who fell into a manhole during heavy rain in downtown Omaha on Friday, including one who was washed about a mile through sewer pipes before getting trapped behind a metal grate, per the AP. The men, who were workers for a private contractor, Ace Pipe Cleaning, were swept into a manhole near the Old Market just after 9am, the Omaha World-Herald quoted Lt. Neal Bonacci of the Omaha Police Department as saying. One of the men, who was tethered to a safety system, was quickly pulled out.

A large-scale rescue effort ensued for the other, who apparently wasn't tethered. He was found around 10:20am. The 41-year-old had extricated himself from the water but was found behind a metal grate covering a culvert. An Omaha Fire Department crew cut the grate to free him, Assistant Fire Chief Jason Bradley told the newspaper. "It's amazing with what that person went through that he survived," Jim Theiler, the city's assistant public works director, tells the World-Herald, which notes the man could've been swept all the way to the Missouri River. The man was taken to Nebraska Medical Center. His name and condition weren't immediately released.

(More Nebraska stories.)

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