CALCUTTA - An employee with the Water and Sewer Department of the Columbiana County Engineer's Office sustained head injuries Tuesday afternoon after falling down a water meter pit outside an apartment complex in St. Clair Township.
Another Water and Sewer Department employee at the scene who did not wish to be identified said the worker had been descending a ladder built into the wall of a water meter shaft at the edge of Calcutta Woods Apartments, 15172 Sprucevale Road, when one of the rungs snapped, sending the man to the bottom of the 10-foot pit. The victim was attempting to take a monthly water meter reading at the complex when the incident occurred.
The man became disoriented after hitting his head against the concrete wall of the pit, but was able to call his wife on his cell phone and ask for help. She in turn called 911, with rescue personnel from the Glenmoor Volunteer Fire Department responding, as well as St. Clair Police officers and EMTs from North Star Critical Care.
Rescue personnel from Calcutta, Glenmoor and Liverpool Township fire and police departments responded Tuesday afternoon to Calcutta Woods on Sprucevale Road where this man had fallen from a ladder inside a meter pit. He was transported by North Star Critical Care ambulance to the hospital. (Photo by Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert)
Glenmoor firefighters were able to secure a harness around the man, who was conscious, and carefully lift him out of the the hole. Nearly an hour after making the distress call to his wife, he was taken to East Liverpool City Hospital by North Star for treatment of his injuries.
The victim was unable to tell responders when the incident occurred. "He didn't know how long he'd been in there," the anonymous employee said. Rick Hibbs, maintenance supervisor for the apartment complex, was present during the ordeal. He said the victim's departmental truck had been parked near the meter pit since 1 p.m., and that the victim placed the call to his wife at around 1:25 p.m.
The Review attempted to contact the Water and Sewer Department for further information regarding the incident, with negative results.