A 29-year-old man was rescued from a storm drain in Texas on Thursday after spending two days trapped below ground.
The Austin-Travis County EMS responded to a report of a person stuck in a manhole just before noon, the department wrote on Twitter.
He was first spotted by a passing cyclist, who’d spotted him waving his hands from the storm drain, according to NBC affiliate KXAN.
EMS personnel soon found that he was “trapped/lost in the drainage tunnel system” in the 8400 block of Research Blvd. in Austin.
Though they initially called the incident a “trench rescue,” it was later updated to a “technical rescue,” as the closest manholes to the man’s position did not allow rescuers access to him.
The man was conscious and alert, but remained stuck, telling those on the scene that he’d been down there for two days, the EMS department wrote on Twitter.
With additional help from the Austin Fire Department and the City of Austin Public Works, they were able to make contact with him about an hour after arriving on the scene, and wrote they were “on the way out with him.”
Just about 20 minutes later, they’d staged a successful rescue out of the drainage system.
The man was thirsty and hungry upon making his way out, but ultimately in good condition, KXAN reported.
The EMS department shared several photos detailing the rescue, including several that showed workers crouching through the underground system while wearing helmets with headlamps.
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AFD Battalion Chief Eddie Martinez told Fox affiliate KTBC that the rescue was deceivingly tricky, because even though they knew where the man was, finding a way into that specific location was difficult.
“There’s so many of these drainages they don’t just all lead to one spot; they lead to parallel spots so it’s hard to get the one that leads just to that single location,” he said. “It’s a very dangerous place to be.”