Rescue workers try to free man stuck in drain

PINOLE, Calif.

The rescue took place at the Best Buy on Fitzgerald Drive in Pinole. Firefighters from Pinole and the surrounding areas used shovels to dig up the pipe.

It started around 8 p.m. Friday when a Best Buy customer heard the faint voice of a man calling for help. At first they couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Then they tracked it to a storm drain.

A security guard at Best Buy says the man was sleeping in the pipe, which is slanted at a 50 degree angle. Somehow he slipped so far down they could only hear him faintly calling for help.

"We've been able to make physical and verbal contact with him," Battalion Chief Brian Lowry said. "We've tried to lasso his hands and tried to pull him out, but he's wedged very tightly in. So we're excavating the drain pipe right now. I've got resources from county flood control and Pinole public works to determine if we need to break through the drain pipe itself, how we're going to be able to do that and protect his safety."

Firefighters say the man appears to be about 30-years-old and he's stuck in 14-inch drainage pipe. They're unsure how long he's been in there.

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