Man freed from trench after 4-hour rescue - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Man freed from trench after 4-hour rescue

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Covered in blankets and freezing cold, Mark Rainwater was finally pulled from the ground that surrounded him since just after three Monday afternoon.
   
Mr. Rainwater  was installing a sewer pipe at a home construction site in the Rossland Hills subdivision, several feet underground, when the ground fell in around him.

Jonesboro Fire Chief Kevin Miller described the scene. "When we first got on the scene, we realized he was buried up to his waist.  He was alert, conscious, talking which was a good sign."

 A good sign because Rainwater's rescue had just begun. He was in that trench, standing upright, for over four hours before Jonesboro firefighters pulled him out.
The rescue actually had two phases.  The first was to get Mr. Rainwater out of the hole he was trapped in.  The second was to get him back up to street level to get medical attention.

"Even once we got him out of the hole he was trapped in, he was still 8 feet under ground. Then we had to hook up a system to get him up out of that hole to transport him to the hospital," said Miller.

A two-step process that was stalled at a critical point. They had Mr. Rainwater nearly freed and then they realized he was caught on something.

"There was a pipe in the ground that they were installing," Miller explained. "And his leg got caught between that pipe and some roots.  It took a little while to dig around that.  We didn't want to hurt him further.  A very time consuming process."

Once the leg was freed the process sped up. Getting Rainwater to the street where EMS and firefighters did their best to rehydrate him and warm him up.

"He's very alert, he was talking the whole time, they are going to transport him to the Med as a precaution but he's very alert and talking to his family and that's a good sign."

An ambulance and Air-Evac were on scene as a precaution.

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