By Edward C. Fennell
The Post and Courier
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Emergency workers won't soon forget the scene: A small boy dangling upside down from the second floor of an elevator shaft.
One of the boy's legs was pinned between the elevator floor and the shaft. He had a head laceration, "with blood," but was conscious and talking to his parents, St. John's fire department Capt. James Ghi said.
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"His body was dangling underneath the elevator," Ghi said. "His knee was just above the second floor and he had a visible head injury."
Ghi said emergency personnel used hand tools and a chain saw to cut away parts of the elevator and free the 5-year-old boy. The boy, whose name was unavailable, was reportedly taken to Medical University Hospital with injuries to his head, arm and eye. No information was available on his condition.
Ghi said the call for help came in about 12:15 p.m. Tuesday from a house on Eagle Point Road, with initial reports indicating that "an elevator was on a child." St. John's firefighters soon learned the boy's leg was lodged between the elevator car and shaft, "with the child's body hanging below the elevator car," Ghi said.
He said the boy's father was holding on to the child's leg, and his mother was below him, on the first floor, trying to keep the boy calm. Their names were not immediately released.
The elevator was in a home that had a basement and two floors above that, Ghi said.
Firefighters requested additional help, and Charleston County EMS and Sheriff's Office personnel and rescue volunteers from the county and St. John's fire department responded, he said. Power to the elevator was shut off, and a ladder was extended to the boy from below him, Ghi said.
Personnel "used hand tools and a chain saw and cut away the floor of the elevator. It took about 20 to 25 minutes to extricate the boy," Ghi said.
Once freed, the boy was lowered to a crew member on the ladder, treated and transported by EMS. "The child was conscious and alert during the entire incident," Ghi said.
The cause of the incident is under investigation, Ghi said. "It's unusual."
The boy apparently became ensnared while playing, Charleston County sheriff's Maj. Jim Brady said. The Sheriff's Office plans no further probe.
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