CALCUTTA - An employee with the water and sewer department of the 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 employee at the scene who declined 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 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.
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," his co-worker 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.