Rope Rescue in Syracuse, NY

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A 19-year-old Onondaga County man lost his balance while looking over a ledge at the Jamesville Quarry Sunday and fell more than 45 feet into a bin, Jamesville Volunteer Fire Chief Bill Johnson said.

The Delphi teen was exploring the old Alpha Portland cement plant, an abandoned hazardous waste site off Rock Cut Road near Jamesville Road, with friends around 4 a.m. Sunday when he fell, Johnson said.

“They were just looking around in there,” the chief said.

A friend told firefighters the teen was looking over the ledge to see how deep it was when he lost his balance and fell in, Johnson said. Rescuers estimated the teen fell 45 feet to 48 feet down a “wide-open hole,” into the storage bin. The teen, whose name was not available, suffered a broken ankle and called 911 for help, the chief said.

“He definitely had someone on his side,” Johnson said. “He is lucky.”

Jamesville and DeWitt firefighters were able to get down to the teen, but they needed the Syracuse Fire Department to help get him out, Johnson said. During the technical rescue, Syracuse firefighters used a pulley system to pull the teen out with a stokes basket, Johnson said. The rescue lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes, the chief said.

Onondaga County sheriff’s deputies and DeWitt police, and Onondaga County Emergency Management also responded.

Jamesville’s fire chief warned others of the possible dangers in the quarry, including overgrown grass covering holes.

“If you don’t know the property, you can get seriously hurt up there,” Johnson said.

He worries that many youth wander around there often. His advice: “Stay away from it, especially at night. There are a lot of open holes that you can easily drop down through — just like this.”

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