Man nearly drowns at Emory University Hospital construction site

by: Diana Davis Updated:

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ATLANTA - There were tense moments Tuesday morning at an Emory University Hospital construction project.

A construction worker fell into a well at the bottom of a deep pit.

Channel 2's Diana Davis talked to an eyewitness and firefighter who both captured the rescue on camera. It was a tough place for a rescue.

A construction worker on a project across the street from Emory University Hospital was plucked from the bottom of the work site and from a well 30 feet further down.

According to Capt. Eric Jackson of the DeKalb County Fire Department, "He was down inside that well doing some inspection when suddenly he was overcome by some underground well water."

Mary Jane Phillips was at the hospital and saw everything. She showed Davis the video she shot on her cellphone.

"We heard a bunch of ambulances and fire trucks coming up, so we walked out to the balcony and saw them rescue a gentleman from the pit," said Phillips.

DeKalb's technical rescue team was on the scene in minutes, but by that time the man who had been under water in the well had risen to the surface.

Jackson said, "He was briefly overcome by that well water, at the same time it pushed him up to the top of the well."

Jackson told Davis that's when the other construction workers were able to get to him and call 911.

Emergency crews loaded him on to the basket and pulled him out of the pit with a construction crane.

DeKalb authorities told Davis he was conscious and breathing.

"He wasn't speaking. In fact, he was really trying to get his bearings. He was briefly overcome by the water, so we are classifying this as a near drowning." Jackson said.

Davis called federal safety investigators, who said they sent an investigator to the scene.

McCarthy Construction is in charge of the project. A spokesperson would not tell Davis the name of the injured man.

The injured man was taken to Atlanta Medical Center in stable condition.