Man rescued in Union City after being stuck in cement mixer for over 2 hours

Byby Amanda Del Castillio KGO logo
Friday, July 13, 2018
Man rescued in Union City after being stuck in cement mixer for over 2 hours
Thankfully, officials extracted the man who was stuck in a cement mixer in Union City. He luckily escaped with no visible injuries.

UNION CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- A man who somehow got stuck in a cement mixer is now out of the waist-deep dry cement and walking.

Officials say he has no complaints of pain.

Crews got the initial call around 4:15 p.m. on Thursday. First responders quickly learned someone was trapped and sought the assistance of the county's technical rescue team.

When crews arrived, they found the man 12-feet beneath an opening. A fire captain explained the man was buried up to his chest in dry cement.

"Our biggest concern is making sure he doesn't get crushed or engulfed," Captain Richard Riggs with ACFD told ABC7 News. "With that type of material, we've seen it before in former calls, he could continue to sink in and next thing you know we can't get to him."

The rescue team worked to get a chest harness around the victim. Once the harness was secured, crews began to release cement from the bottom of the mixer causing an unintended issue.

"Once we started dropping that material down, it started engulfing him further and crushing him more," Captain Brian Ferreira said. "So, we had to stop the operation and take a pause real quick."

After more than two hours, it was a rope system and ladder that assisted the man out of the cement hopper.

The victim was captured on video, miraculously walking away from a machine that crews say could have taken his life.

"He was able to walk some very narrow plank. We got him down, got him on an ambulance and he's being treated now," Captain Riggs said.

In an afternoon media briefing, first responders wouldn't talk about how the man got into the machine, only commenting on the victim's exhaustion after this unique and dangerous drop.

"Maybe one or two of them happen in the nation at the most, but an elevated entrapment in a cement silo is pretty rare," Captain Ferreira said. "It's the first one that we've done, and I'm glad to say it was successful."

ACFD officials explained dry cement is an irritant that can easily cause respiratory issues. Beyond that, the thousands of pounds of dry cement that trapped the victim, could've led to Crush Syndrome.

OSHA is now investigating the incident.