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Firefighters describe rescue of men from manhole | News

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Firefighters describe rescue of men from manhole
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ATLANTA – Two construction workers are still recovering a day after being rescued from a 14-foot hole on Georgia Tech's golf course.

Officials say they believe the contractors were tying into an existing sewer line when something went wrong Thursday. They were unconscious, trapped underground for close to 30 minutes before finally being pulled out by Atlanta firefighters.

"What made it tough was is that we had about 30 inches wide at the top," said Atlanta Fire Capt. Chip Newell." So on the bottom it flared out a little bit to maybe about four feet."

Being on the golf course presented another challenge.

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"We had to bring all the equipment to the scene on foot," said Newell. "The golf course wouldn't support the fire truck. We would have trashed the course itself if we would have tried to bring the rigs in."

Before Andrew Taylor was lowered into the manhole, they first had to make sure the workers could still breath.

"We have equipment on here that displace the air in order to get oxygen in the hole," Taylor said.

Both contractors were breathing and moving when they were transported.

The contractors work for Brent Scarborough & Company out of Fayetteville. OSHA records indicate that they've only had one violation back in 2013 and that had to do with fire protection equipment.

Nationwide, there have 36 manhole fatalities in the past 13 years.

OSHA said new safety rules pertaining to manholes will take effect two months from now. They expect this new protocol will prevent at least 800 injuries and five deaths every year.

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