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Sandra Yi ReportingLt. Doug Edwards: "He is sitting up and in a lot of pain."
Rescue crews rushed to help a man trapped and injured in a service elevator. The rescue took several hours at the new Gold's Gym in Orem.
The victim is 19-year old Timothy Fahrner of Salt Lake City. He's been working for Gold's Gym for six months. He was moving equipment in the back of the building when he fell down the shaft of an elevator.
Lt. Doug Edwards: "As a parent it would just tear me apart to see this young man in the predicament that he’s in.”
The rescue took nearly three hours. It was tricky and at times, potentially dangerous.
Lt. Doug Edwards: "The logistical problem is to try to get him out without doing further damage to his leg.”
Crews decided to cut away the floor so they could safely move the victim's legs. A cutting torch wasn't fast enough, so workers borrowed a plasma cutter. But getting that started took some time.
Lt. Doug Edwards: "The only problem is it takes such a massive power supply. We didn’t have that readily available.”
During the rescue, the victim sat upright on a wooden plank. He wore protective gear as crews continued to cut the platform.
Lt. Doug Edwards: "They hooked him up with a harness and they ran a hook over the top of the frame of this elevator to keep him stable.”
Eventually he was freed and flown to a hospital. Police continue to investigate how this happened. They know the man was moving exercise equipment. He opened the doors to get on the service elevator, but the platform wasn't there and he fell 15 feet. His coworkers raised the elevator to get him out, inadvertently causing more pain and damage.
Lt. Doug Edwards: "So as it raised up it caught his legs, pinned them between the floor if the elevator and the wall.”
Throughout the rescue the man was conscious, but in a lot of pain. Fortunately, his older brother remained beside him.
Kirk Livingstone, Gold’s Gym: "We wish to thank all those involved with the rescue and the extrication. And our thoughts and prayers go out to the employee and his family as he goes about his recovery.”
Fahrner is in fair condition at the hospital. Amazingly, he has no broken bones, but doctors still don't know how much tissue damage was done.
Gold's Gym is doing an internal investigation.