In many parts of the country, abandoned mine shafts can be found in remote areas, and all of them have the potential of being dangerous. While falling into mine shafts is not a common occurrence, it has been known to happen occasionally.
150 Feet Down
On the 24th, a 30-year-old man found himself stuck 150 feet down the shaft of an abandoned mine. The shaft was a part of the Eureka Mine on Pike Hill in Corinth, VT.
Multiple first responder crews came together to get the man out of the shaft. According to WMURG, the man had been down in the copper shaft for around two hours before the first crew arrived.
According to Chief Martin McMillan, “I think he slipped-we’re not 100 percent sure-and then actually fell down the shaft, maybe just taking a look at it.” The ground around the mine and the interior were frozen.
According to a department press release, the Corinth and Tri-Village Fire Departments with the Upper Valley Ambulance were the first on-site.
The Technical Rescue Force was then requested. This task force was made up of Hanover and Lebanon, NH crews, plus members of the Harford and Thetford, VT fire departments.
The team put together a “twin tensioned rope rescue system.” Two firefighter/ paramedics were sent down into the shaft. The man went into a stokes basket and was raised out of the shaft. An ATV from the Thetford Fire Department took him to an ambulance, which then transported him to a waiting helicopter.
The man was taken to the hospital. Currently, his condition is unknown. The rescue took around an hour overall, including the time it took to get the man into the waiting helicopter.
“It was a very well-coordinated effort, not by me, but by all of us coming together as a single entity and making this happen in a very professional and rapid fashion. This particular situation went like clockwork. Just nice when everything comes together, and we make it happen.”Hanover, New Hampshire Fire Department Chief Martin McMillian
With so many teams working together, it takes a precise and coordinated effort to rescue someone who has been trapped in a mine shaft. These firefighters and paramedics each performed their roles perfectly and quickly getting this man to safety.