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Septic Tank Swallows SoCal Woman, Traps Her There for Hour And a Half Before San Bernardino County Rescuers Get Her Out

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Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 1:49 PM
click to enlarge A septic prison. - CRYPTIC MERLIN
  • Cryptic Merlin
  • A septic prison.

Holy crap.

We're not sure what's worse: Falling into a septic tank. Or being trapped there for at least an hour and a half before being pulled out.

Rescuers in San Bernardino County say an "elderly" woman fell into an abandoned septic tank sometime before 8 this morning and had to linger in about 2 inches of "water" (yeah, mystery water) for at least 90 minutes before rescuers saved the day. Ew.

It happened in the 11800 block of Hardy Avenue in scenic Adelanto, San Berdoo County Fire spokeswoman Tracey Martinez told the Weekly.


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Rescuers got the call at 8:50 a.m., she said, but it was possible the woman was down there for a while before her sister heard her calls for help and ran to a nearby fire station.

The victim was watering her garden when it happened. Martinez:

She was out in her yard watering her garden and she fell through the dirt and into an old septic tank. There was an inch or two of water still in it.

The fall was about 9 feet. It took rescuers about 20 minutes to go get her (they were concerned that the dirt-wall tank might cave) via harness, but that they did. By that time the woman had been at the bottom of the tank for at least an hour and a half, Martinez said.

Redefines the terms down in the dumps, shitty day and, of course, craptastic.

The local Daily Press identified the victim as 68-year-old Emma Orozco, a name Martinez couldn't confirm for us.

The poor woman was taken to St. Mary's Hospital via American Medical Response ambulance, Martinez told us. She was said to have sustained moderate injuries. We assume she was also in need of a long, hot shower.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com/@LAWeeklyNews]

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