A parishioner performing maintenance at Seventh Day Adventist Church in Braintree survived an 18-to-20-foot fall down an air shaft Thursday and was trapped in the ventilation duct for approximately 45 minutes while firefighters maneuvered to rescue him, Lieutenant Joe McLaughlin said.
Firefighters climbed more than eight feet then crawled more than 25 feet through the duct, which was less than four feet by four feet, to reach the victim, McLaughlin said.
Once they located the victim, McLaughlin said responders slid him out on a board. According to McLaughlin, the victim, who was transported to South Shore Hospital, appeared to suffer no injuries worse than a possible broken bone.
Firefighters train for confined space rescues, but rarely perform them, McLaughlin said.