Crews rescue man trapped in rail car full of sand in Frederickson

Courtesy photo

Firefighters rescued a man completely buried by sand in a rail car Tuesday in Frederickson.

Crews took the man to a hospital in stable condition after they got him out. He didn’t appear to have any life-threatening injuries, but it wasn’t clear how he was doing Wednesday.

Firefighters from Central Pierce Fire & Rescue responded about 4:30 p.m. to the 18700 block of 38th Avenue East to rescue the trapped man.

The worker had walked across what appeared to be stable sand in the car as he was unloading the material and fell into an air pocket and was buried, Central Pierce spokesman Ed Hrivnak said Wednesday.

In addition, his leg was caught in machinery at the bottom of the sand-filled car.

Other workers dug around the man’s head so he could breathe, and called 911.

It wasn’t clear which company he works for.

A team of rescue experts from multiple agencies helped free the man in about 90 minutes with careful planning, Hrivnak said.

Had the sand been removed too quickly, the material around the man could have collapsed, suffocating him, Hrivnak said.

Firefighters used suction trucks to remove about 80 tons of sand from around the worker.

Crews used plywood to stabilize the area around the worker before freeing his leg and pulling him out with a harness.