Neighbors in Philadelphia cheered as rescuers pulled a man out alive who'd purposely jumped into the sewer and then got sucked down Friday afternoon.
The 46-year-old man removed a storm drain that covered an 18-inch pipe and leapt in. Suction from rushing water below pulled him down about 10 feet.
Emergency crews worked for several hours at the intersection of 9th and Pike Streets in the Hunting Park neighborhood of Philadelphia in what the fire commissioner called a difficult environment filled with sewage and water.
"Very challenging incident. Very difficult rescue." Commissioner Adam Thiel said. "It was very dark so they have to deploy all these specialized techniques with all this specialized equipment."
Rescuers had to ventilate the area due to toxic and flammable gasses before they climbed down a ladder to reach the man.
The victim was in stable condition at Temple hospital. Rescue workers had to decontaminate.
The police department and water department workers assisted in the rescue.
"This is what we do... All of us working for you every day," Thiel said.