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Person rescued after being trapped in Missoula sand-filled silo

Ground Support
High point pulley system
Lowering From Truck
Sand Removal
Sand Removal
Posted at 10:21 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 13:42:29-04

MISSOULA — A person was rescued Wednesday afternoon in Missoula after becoming trapped in a silo and being buried up to his neck in sand.

The Missoula Fire Department reported they responded to the 1700 block of Rodgers Street around 2:30 p.m. to find the male victim inside a 35-foot tall elevated silo buried in sand with only his face exposed.

He was approximately 25 feet below the only entrance, which was a small manhole near the top of the silo.

Emergency responders used a pulley system to lower a rescuer with ropes and a harness to the victim.

The rescuer then used large diameter vacuum hoses that were extended from two public works trucks to carefully remove sand from around the victim.

"There was constant concern throughout the rescue, and measures taken to keep the existing sand from inside the silo from sloughing off and burying the victim completely," fire officials wrote in a press release.

After about 2½ hours, the victim was freed and hoisted to the entrance above.

To lower him to the ground, first responders used a technique called a 'high point pick off,' which utilized a ladder truck as the high point.

They were then able to lower the victim using a pulley system to an ambulance.

He was taken to St. Patrick Hospital and was later released with no injuries.