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Nanaimo fire crew rescues boy that fell through gate at Dover Secondary

FILE PHOTO: Dover Bay Secondary School.

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.

A youth fell down this air shaft at the Dover Bay School on June 22, 2017. Allen Felker

The youth, who has not been identified but is believed to be a student at the school, was taken to the hospital in Nanaimo.

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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.

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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.

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