HOLDEN, Mass. — The Holden Fire Deparment rescued a man buried chest-deep inside a cement silo at Paquette Concrete in Holden Thursday afternoon.
After receiving intial reports at approximately 1:58 p.m. that a worker was trapped in the silo, firefighters responded immediately to the scene at 1395 Wachusett Street.
"He was in a silo surrounded by cement powder up to his chest, about 30 feet up from the bottom of the silo," said Fire Chief Jack Chandler, III.
The 50-foot silo is made up of three chambers and is used for mixing cement.
In order to retrieve the man, the Tower Ladder was raised over the top of the silo, and two firefighter/paramedics had to be lowered into the confined space to provide oxygen to the victim and "stabilize him to prevent him from getting buried any further," Chandler said.
It took firefighters about 90 minutes to fully extricate the man.
"Due to the confined space, the heat of the day and the hazardous environment, including the fine dust from the cement and the risk of another collapse, the rescue was very slow," Chandler said.
After he was stabilized in the silo, the fire department removed concrete from the bottom of the silo, which allowed the firefighters to pull the victim out through the top of the silo.
The man was then placed in an extrication basket and lowered to safety, where he was evaluated by West Boylston paramedics to detemine the extent of his injuries.
"Due the unknown extent of his injuries and the long extrication time, we had a helicopter standing by near the scene," Chandler said.
He was then transported by ambulance to a landing zone on Manning Street, where he was life-flighted by helicopter to a hospital for further treatment. He is currently in the Intensive Care Unit.
Mutual aid was provided at the scene by Sterling and Paxton ambulance and West Boylston Ambulance, with town coverage done by Rutland Fire.