Pa. crews rappel to rescue men from ledge

The two men slipped along the ledge of the quarry and fell onto an outcropping near the water and were unable to get out


The Morning Call

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Firefighters were attempting to rescue two people stranded after a fall Sunday afternoon at a Washington Township, Lehigh County, quarry, according to emergency dispatches.

Firefighters rescued two people stranded after a 70-foot fall Sunday afternoon at a Washington Township, Lehigh County, quarry.

Slatington fire Chief Keith Weaver said the fire company received a call about 4:20 p.m. that two people had fallen down a slope in the quarry near the border with Slatington.

Weaver said three men and a woman from near Philadelphia had read about a quarry near Slatington and had come up to swim Sunday afternoon. He said he believes they were looking for the "60 quarry," a popular larger quarry with a 60-foot ledge. The accident happened at the "pigeon quarry," one of a series of smaller pits.

"There are quarries all over from when they used to mine slate," Weaver said.

Weaver said two of the men slipped along the ledge of the quarry and fell onto an outcropping near the water and were unable to get out.

Crews brought in two all-terrain vehicles to help with the rescue and emergency personnel set up a staging tent on Seventh Street, which was closed for about three hours during the evacuation.

Weaver said crews had to set up ropes and rigging and rappel down to rescue the two men, who suffered only minor scrapes and scratches. He said they were treated at the scene.

The quarry is near the Slate Heritage Rail Trail, a popular biking and jogging route that features a picturesque covered pedestrian bridge.

Weaver said the quarries are on private property and "no trespassing" signs are posted prominently but people go in them anyway.

He said state police at Bethlehem were going to all the quarries Sunday evening and telling swimmers to leave.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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