SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – First responders helped rescue a Pennsylvania man from a sewer drain just before 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning.
It was an unusual incident for first responders on West Elm Street in Scranton, Pennsylvania, this morning. The man who got stuck in the drain told first responders that he was walking along the Lackawanna River when he slipped on ice, fell into the water, and the current dragged him to the drain. He then kept walking until he couldn’t go any further. We spoke with first responders and the man who made the life-saving call.
Edwin Cole, a taxi cab driver for McCarthy Cabs tells us, “I was driving by, I had the window down a little bit, nobody was around, no cars and I heard some screams.”
He heard something coming from the sewer, “Please”, the voice said.
“Then I drove down a little bit. I heard it again, I couldn’t see anyone so I got out of the car and I looked and I heard it coming from the grate.”
Cole was finishing his shift with McCarthy Flowered Cabs just before 2 a.m. When he noticed a man stuck in a sewer catch basin. He knew immediately to call for assistance.
Lt. Thomas Irwin is with the Scranton Fire Department, “The first thing we tried to do was to physically lift the sewer metal grate off of the catch basin but it appeared to be tarred into place. Our next choice of our rescue plan was to get our guest powered rotary saws and begin cutting the grate.”
After almost half an hour, rescue crews were able to get the man out.
“When we got there he was wearing a pair of pants, socks and a t-shirt. Yeah, he was cold”, Thomas said.
The man was soaking wet and in a hypothermic state. He was immediately transported to Geisinger CMC. Officials are glad that Cole was in the right place at the right time.
Thomas told us, “I think a lot of the thanks is deservingly given to the taxi cab driver. If he wasn’t in that place at that time I don’t think the results would have been the same.”
Cole was humble in his response. “I don’t think I’m a hero, I’m just a human. I think anybody would have done the same. Wish him a merry Christmas because it’s a Christmas miracle.”
Now, Edwin the cab driver tells us that he called every hospital in the nearby area to check up on the man. When he called CMC, they told him the man said thank you.
Officials say the man is in stable condition but there is no confirmation on how he ended up here.