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Mich. firefighters rescue worker trapped in sewer

A worker was repairing the Waterford system when he was swept several hundred feet down stream


Waterford Regional Fire Department/Facebook

By Peg McNichol
The Oakland Press

WATERFORD, Mich. — Waterford firefighters rescued a man trapped in a sewer last week, according to Waterford Fire Chief Matt Covey.

Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) is investigating the incident, he said.

The man was a contract worker repairing the sewer system at 600 West Walton Blvd. in Pontiac Wednesday when he was swept downstream through the underground sewer system. His name is not being released at this time.

“The individual was able to grab hold of a step near the next manhole several hundred feet down stream. Where he was found shortly after was roughly 20 to 25 feet. below the ground,” Covey said.

Multiple units from the Waterford Regional Fire Department responded to the 911 call, along with a large group of Oakland County Sheriff Deputies and a unit from Star Ambulance, he said.

Fire crews formulated a plan to get a life-ring rope to the victim to keep him from being washed further downstream, then used ropes to extricate him from the sewer.

Despite the scare, the man was unhurt and no one else was injured during the incident, Covey said.

MIOSHA investigates on-the-job accidents, including those causing injuries and deaths. So far this year, 22 people in Michigan have died in work-related incidents.

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