The Journal Gazette
Friday, September 24, 2021 11:30 am

Firefighters rescue girl, 8, stuck in laundry chute


Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ind. -- An 8-year-old girl who became wedged inside a south-central Indiana home's laundry chute was rescued after firefighters cut through a floor joist to free her, authorities said.

Columbus firefighters called Wednesday to the home found the girl conscious and alert but stuck in an awkward position inside the home's metal laundry chute, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman.

Investigators determined she had entered the chute from a second-story bedroom and slid toward the basement of the home in the city about 50 miles south of Indianapolis.

But she ended up stuck at the chute’s opening with her body bent at the waist and both her feet and head facing upward, The Republic reported.

Firefighters tried to free the girl by repositioning her, and when that failed they removed drywall from the home's first floor to expose the chute, then used a saw and tin snips to create an opening in the chute.

When a second attempt to the girl failed, firefighters determined a floor joist near the bottom of the chute was preventing her from exiting it. When they cut that joist they were able to free her from the chute and lower her to the basement's floor.

Wilson said the girl was taken to a hospital for evaluation and later released. He said it's estimated she was stuck in the chute for about 40 minutes before she was rescued.

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