50 First Responders Work for Hours to Rescue Man Trapped 15 Feet Underground in 16-Inch Storm Drain


 By Amanda Thomason  March 21, 2022 at 2:50pm

When a man got stuck in a storm drain in Antioch, California, on Sunday, he really got stuck, necessitating a major rescue operation.

The man — who has not been named — somehow found himself trapped in a 16-inch pipe 15 feet underground.

Thankfully, good Samaritan Jamie Linsey happened to be walking by and heard shouting coming from the ground.

“I was just walking by and I heard him yelling,” Linsey told KPIX-TV in San Francisco.

“And then all of a sudden like … the noise started getting louder and louder,” he said. “I ended up calling the police.”

How the man got into that predicament in the first place has not been disclosed, but the rescue was documented by the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and posted on social media.

“Con Fire is on scene a confined space rescue involving a male subject trapped in a storm drain about 15 ft underground in 3100 block of Buchanan, Antioch,” the district posted on its Facebook page on Sunday.

“Man is responsive & communicating with rescue personnel. Please avoid area to allow first responders access.”

Heavy equipment and rescuers from various agencies were involved in the operation.

“Active rescue efforts continue in Antioch for a male subject who remains trapped in an underground storm drain,” an update from Con Fire read. “Some 50 rescuers from Con Fire, East County Fire, Antioch PD and City of Antioch are attempting to gain access to the victim from two different directions.”

Several firefighters were able to get close to the man, and there was hope that he would soon be rescued.

“Four firefighter rescuers have made entry into the underground space where the victim in Antioch remains trapped,” another update from Con Fire read. “They are clearing debris in order to gain access and effect rescue.”

Finally, the crews were successful in extracting the man.

“After a complex & risky 3 1/2-hour, 50-person effort by Con Fire and East Con Fire — assisted by AMR & Antioch Public Works & PD — a mid-30s man has been rescued uninjured from a 16″ underground pipe where he had been stuck,” Con Fire posted in its final update.

The man was taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. Hopefully, he’ll avoid such confined spaces in the future.

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.

She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.

With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking

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