A Nanaimo boy is recovering after falling through a steel grate and breaking his leg at Dover Bay Secondary School Thursday morning.
The fire department got a call just before 9 a.m. and using technical rescue gear that included baskets and ropes, they were able to hoist the victim out of the air intake shaft a little more than an hour later. The shaft, which is about 17 feet deep, is part of the school’s ventilation system.
The youth, who has not been identified but is believed to be a student at the school, was taken to the hospital in Nanaimo.
According to Nanaimo Fire Department’s acting Chief Karen Fry, the grate is large — approximately 12 feet by 12 feet. The opening the boy fell through was about two feet by two feet.
Fry said they do not know at this point how the boy fell through access grate. Nanaimo/Ladysmith Asst. Superintendent Scott Saywell said the grate is usually locked unless a school staff worker or contractor needed to do work in the shaft.
Although Fry said their crews train regularly for high-risk, low-frequency incidents like this, they still are a risk for both responders and patients.