Construction worker rescued by crane after elevator shaft fall

Ahmed Areff, News24

Pretoria - A construction worker had to be rescued with a crane after he fell down a partially built elevator shaft at a site in Centurion, paramedics said.

“According to witnesses on the scene, the man apparently lost his footing and fell from the fifth storey to the third storey of the building [on Tuesday],” Netcare 911’s general manager of inland and aeromedical operations Shalen Ramduth said in a statement.

Paramedics arrived on the scene and found that the 28-year-old man had suspected neck injuries and possible rib fractures.

“The building site did not have stairs nor a lift, so we needed to think of a way to get the patient safely down to ground level, without risking further damage to his spine."

Ramduth said construction workers usually climb scaffolding to get up and down the building site, but it would not have been possible to safely carry the man down that way.

Netcare rescue personnel decided to use the crane.

“The patient was secured in a Stokes basket, which is a special stretcher or basked that is designed for use where there are obstacles to movement or other hazards in evacuation, and this was attached to the crane cable and gently lowered to a waiting Netcare 911 ambulance."

The man was taken to hospital in a critical but stable condition.