NYU student Asher Vongtau rescued after getting stuck between buildings for 36 hours

Student was found conscious while stuck in an 18" gap

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The Independent Online

A student from New York is in serious condition after he survived a 10-storey fall, only to end up trapped between two buildings in an 18-inch crawlspace for 36 hours.

Asher Vongtau, 19, is currently being treated in hospital following his ordeal, after he was freed from a tiny cavity between a parking garage and an New York University dorm building in lower Manhattan.

Vongtau, from Pittsburgh, was only found after worried friends reported his disappearance – and rescuers heard his cries for help.

It is not certain how he fell; he was last seen by friends early on Saturday, apparently running frantically up a stairwell after a false fire alarm, having left his room.

“I don’t want to elaborate on what we were doing in there,’’ fellow student Mike Yablon, 19, told The New York Post.

Vongtau wasn’t reported missing to school officials until Saturday night, and at first they thought it was a prank.

“They didn’t want to check the cameras until tomorrow,” said Yablon. "We finally got them to go check it out, and they found his cellphone up there [on the dorm roof].”

Rescuers report that he was conscious when they found him on Sunday evening, and that it took “about an hour and a half to get him out”, as they had to break down a wall

“We had our companies use pneumatic tools to extricate the victim,’’ Fire Chief Joseph Schiralli told The Post.

“I’m just completely stunned — he’s actually one of those responsible kids,’’ his mother said as she prepared to visit him in hospital.

His condition is described as “serious but stable”.