A man required rescue in Colorado's highest city after falling into a 30-foot-deep sinkhole on April 1.
According to Leadville & Lake County Fire Rescue, the man was attempting to access a storage unit in Leadville when he fell into a 30-foot pit that appeared. The bottom of the pit was filled with ice and water, making for a cold and dangerous situation. To complicate matters, the edges of the pit were unstable.
Personnel arrived on the scene within minutes of the initial 6:02 PM report and firefighter Alex Conlin, under direction of Captain Dave McCann, sprung into action. A plan was developed that would allow for Conlin to rappel into the pit to retrieve the party in the sinkhole without sinking into the frigid water.
Conlin rappelled into the pit and was able to get the fallen person into safety gear. It was determined that the person had sustained injuries that would require medical attention.
A high-angle rescue team arrived at the pit around 7:40 PM, assisting in getting Conlin and the injured party out of the hole. The person that had become trapped in the pit was taken by ambulance to an airport where a helicopter awaited for medical transport due to undisclosed injuries.
As said by Captain McCann, “this was an incredible example of teamwork with all responding agencies to smoothly and safely accomplish this rescue.”
Assisting agencies included the Leadville & Lake County Fire Rescue team, Leadville Police officers, Search and Rescue personnel, St. Vincent Ambulance crews, Lake County Road and Bridge, and local dispatch.
It is unclear what caused the sinkhole to form at this time.