Rescuers worked carefully midday Tuesday to free a tree trimmer who became pinned by a limb weighing more than a ton while working on a large tree during a storm in South Jersey.
The high-angle rescue played out along tree-lined Loucroft Road, just off Kings Highway, in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Neighbors said they heard a loud snap then heard the private contractor who was using a bucket on a lift to work on the the tree screaming "please help me" after becoming pinned.
A large limb from the tree came down on John Landi of Audubon, New Jersey and pinned the 52-year-old's leg against the blue platform he was working on just after 11 a.m., said Haddonfield Police Lt. Jason Cutler.
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Fire crews could be seen extending ladders up onto a tree with broken limbs as local police roped off the area.
Landi remained conscious and alert as crews from Haddonfield as well as other nearby towns worked to stabilize the limb, said Cutler.
After nearly two hours, fire crews lowered the worker from Landi & Sons Masonry down from the tree as EMS workers stabilized his leg. Trauma surgeons stood by and then rushed Landi into a waiting ambulance that took him to Cooper University Medical Center in critical but stable condition.
Crews estimated the limb measured 25 inches in diameter and weighed about 2,500 pounds. Quick-moving storms were reported in the area around the time the man got trapped. No word yet on exactly what caused the limb to fall in his direction.