SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – First responders in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania helped rescue a man from a sewer drain just before 2 a.m. Thursday.
The man that got stuck in the drain told first responders that he was walking along the Lackawanna River when he slipped on ice, fell into the water, and the current dragged him to the drain.
Edwin Cole, a taxi cab driver for McCarthy Cabs, said, “I was driving by, I had the window down a little bit, nobody was around, no cars and I heard some screams.”
He heard something coming from the sewer: “Please,” the voice said.
“Then, I drove down a little bit I heard it again. I couldn’t see anyone so I got out of the car, and I looked, and I heard it coming from the grate,” he recalled.
Cole was finishing his shift with McCarthy Flowered Cabs just before 2 a.m. when he noticed the man, who was stuck in a sewer catch basin. He knew immediately to call for assistance.
Lt. Thomas Irwin, with the Scranton Fire Department, said they tried to lift the sewer metal grate off the catch basin, but it appeared to be tarred in place.
“Our next choice of our rescue plan was to get our guest powered rotary saws and begin cutting the grate,” he said.
After almost half an hour, rescue crews were able to get the man out.
“When we got there he was wearing a pair of pants, socks and a t-shirt. Yeah, he was cold,” Irwin said.
The man was soaking wet and in a hypothermic state. He was immediately transported to Geisinger CMC.
Officials are glad that Cole was in the right place at the right time.
“I think a lot of the thanks is deservingly given to the taxi cab driver. If he wasn’t in that place at that time, I don’t think the results would have been the same,” Irwin said.
Cole was humble in his response.
“I don’t think I’m a hero; I’m just a human. I think anybody would have done the same. Wish him a merry Christmas because it’s a Christmas miracle,” he said.
The cab driver said he called every hospital in the nearby area to check up on the man. He said when he called CMC, employees told him that the man said thank you.
Officials say the man is in stable condition.