Woman stuck between two walls in Oregon is freed


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The Independent Online

A woman had to be rescued by firefighters after she fell and got wedged four feet off the ground between two buildings in Portland, Oregon.

Rescuers said they didn't know how the woman got into the squeeze.

The fire services used braces to support her and turned on a portable heater to keep her warm in the winter chill while they dropped an air bag into the opening to slightly spread the walls.

"She was in good spirits," Lt. Rich Chatman, of Portland fire department, said. "We just tried to reassure her ... we weren't going home without her."

After they cut a window-sized hole in the concrete wall, Lt. Chatman climbed in to apply a soapy lubricant. The woman then wiggled toward the hole as the rescue team pulled her to safety.

The woman spent about four hours in a space around nine inches wide. Local and national cable news broadcast footage of the rescue effort and showed the woman emerging.

She was taken to the Oregon Health & Science University hospital and appeared to be in good health, fire Lt. Damon Simmons said.

The department's Urban Search and Rescue, who helped her escape, train for situations such as building collapses and none of the tactics used Wednesday were improvised, Lt. Simmons said.

"They're ready for when the big earthquake hits," he said.