NEW YORK — Firefighters rescued two people who fell several stories into an elevator shaft inside a New York City Target.
The incident began when a security guard tried to escort a 16-year-old accused of shoplifting out of the Bronx store, and things turned physical. Officers told WABC the two were fighting when they bumped into the elevator doors, which then opened, causing them both to fall down the shaft.
The pair fell approximately three stories, according to WNBC.
“When the two victims fell, one landed on top and one fell in between the elevator and the shaft down below the elevator,” FDNY Assistant Chief John Sarrocco told WNBC.
The teenager, who was on top of the elevator cab, was rescued quickly and taken to a hospital for injuries that were described as non-life-threatening, WABC reported.
To rescue the security guard, who was beneath the elevator, rescue crews had to knock down walls on the building’s first floor, which belong to a Dollar Discount and Party store.
“It was like someone breaking my heart,” store owner Abdul Wahib told WCBS, describing watching rescuers tear through the wall. “It’s a disaster for us and it’s Christmas time.”
Firefighters set up a pulley system and rescued the security guard after approximately an hour, WABC reported. He was conscious but described as critically injured when he was taken to a hospital.
“The FDNY fire operations and the FDNY EMS operations working in concert with each other in order to save this person’s life that’s underneath, is just astounding at what we do,” Sarrocco told WNBC. “Train every day for something like this and when it happens we are ready to go.”
In a statement to WPIX, Target said, “Our hearts go out to those who were injured in this tragic incident at the Bronx Terminal Market, which includes a Target team member.”
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