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2 rescued after plunging down elevator shaft at Target store in the Bronx

By Web staff

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    NEW YORK, New York (WCBS) — Two people have been rescued from an elevator at the Target store at Bronx Terminal Market.

Dozens of shoppers at the Bronx Terminal Market watched as first responders put extensive confined space rescue training to work to save two men who fell down an elevator shaft.

“I’m recording and I’m praying the same time that the rescue can come in perfect,” said shopper Rarbi Mojica.

Sources tell CBS2 it started on the third floor outside the Target store.

A 29-year-old loss prevention officer was ejecting a 16-year-old suspected shoplifter. During a struggle, they banged against an elevator door. It opened and they fell three stories down to the top of the elevator on the first floor.

“We responded in approximately three minutes. We found two victims in the elevator shaft, one on top of the elevator the second one past the elevator, in the elevator pit,” said Deputy Assistant Chief John Sarrocco.

The older man on top of the elevator was rescued fairly easily. To reach the teenager under the elevator in the pit, first responders knocked down walls in the first floor Dollar Discount and Party store.

“What was it like when they were breaking through the wall?” Aiello asked.

“It was like someone breaking my heart,” said owner Abdul Wahib.

“You have a lot to clean up,” Aiello said.

“A lot. A lot of work. I have to put the beam, construction. It’s a disaster for us and it’s Christmas time,” he said.

“We set up a mechanical advantage, basically a rope system, and we were able to bring that victim up out of the elevator shaft in about an hour,” Sarrocco said.

The teenager had injuries described as critical. He was taken to Harlem Hospital and is expected to survive.

The FDNY trains for these scenarios, and Thursday that training paid off.

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