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Woman rescued after falling 25 feet into septic tank in California

(KTLA) – Emergency crews rescued a woman who was trapped for two hours after falling into a septic tank outside a mobile home in Fontana, California, on Thursday.

Crews arrived around 9:45 a.m. after someone heard screams coming from a deep hole and called 911.

“We found a 40-year-old female down approximately 25 feet in what we determined to be an abandoned or previously used septic tank,” San Bernardino County Fire spokesperson Eric Sherwin said. 

KTLA’s Sky 5 was over the scene at 11 a.m. as rescue personnel from multiple agencies worked on a plan to save the woman.

The hole, which officials initially described as a sinkhole, opened up under a brick-covered porch area as the woman was walking outside the mobile home, Sherwin said.

The woman was awake and talking while she waited for rescuers to get her out, San Bernardino County Fire posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“Our approach to this was a confined space rescue with a potential trench component because this septic tank was unreinforced,” Sherwin said. “We had the potential to have debris slough from those walls and engulf both the victim and any entrants making access into that hole.”

A rope system was used to rescue the woman — who was wearing a harness and a helmet — from the hole just after 11:45 a.m.

She was taken to a local hospital. Though her condition was unknown, Sherwin said the woman had suffered injuries to her legs.

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