16.09.2013

Rope rescue

Fire crews rescued a man stranded in a boom lift in Butte Montana, last Thursday, he was working on the headframe of the closed Belmont copper mine.

In recent years many of Butte's dozen or so distinctive headframes have been restored and illuminated with red LED lights, they range in height from around 30 to almost 60 metres. The Belmont headframe was being cleaned and blasted ready for repainting when the county owned boom lift is said to have malfunctioned.

Local firefighters arrived with a ladder platform for the rescue, but were unable to reach the basket of the boom lift, which was around 20 metres in the air. The rescue team therefore decided to rappel down to the boom lifts cage from the top of the frame and then lower the stricken man, Larry Moralez, from there to the waiting platform below.
Larry Moralez is lowered from his platform to the fire ladder platform below

In all Moralez was stranded for around three hours before he was back in firm ground, he told waiting reporters that he had not been concerned as he had a great deal of experience working on headframes and using boom lifts.

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