A private worker helping repair a sewer line in Old City was trapped in a 14-foot-deep hole Saturday afternoon but was freed about two hours later, conscious and in stable condition.
Early reports indicated the unidentified man was working with a crew on the sewer line under the sidewalk in the 300 block of Market Street when dirt and boulders caved in, trapping the man's legs. The hole was about four feet wide.
More than three dozen Fire Department rescuers responded, working carefully to dig him from the dirt, put him in a harness and brought him to the street, according to Fire Department Deputy Chief Troy K. Gore.
SEPTA discontinued service on the Market-Frankford line at 4:15 p.m. between the Second Street and Fifth Street stops at the request of the Fire Department and while the rescuers pulled the trapped man out of the hole. Train service resumed around 5:45 p.m. Spokesman Andrew Busch said it was "pretty minimal disruption."
The man was an employee of a private firm, City Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Co., hired to work outside the Queen Nails salon. The crew had already dug up part of the sidewalk.
Gore said rescuers did not know if the man was already in the hole or fell in when the dirt collapsed.
The man was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Staff Writer Tommy Rowan contributed to this report.