This past Sunday, July 23—around 3 A.M.—a D.C.-area apartment-dweller decided to finish up his weekend chores. He tied up a bag of garbage, pulled it out of the bin, walked it over to the building’s trash chute, and sent it tumbling down.
In a flash, he was struck by a familiar sinking feeling—had he dropped his cell phone? Bending down to check, he found himself overcome by a slightly less familiar sinking feeling: he had fallen into the trash chute.
Person trapped in trash chute 777 7th St NW. Person conscious and alert. Working on rescue plan. pic.twitter.com/yTFXJuYelu— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) July 23, 2017
Luckily, there was enough room in there to maneuver around. As the Washington Post reports, the man managed to get himself upright, find his phone—whether it had actually fallen in with the trash, or had just been in his pocket the whole time, remains unclear—and call 911, which dispatched a rescue crew.
Video from WTTG shows about a half dozen firefighters gathered in the apartment’s hallway, discussing strategy and checking up on their victim through the wall.
7th St NW: adult male removed from trash chute using a harness and haul method. Victim treated & released on scene. pic.twitter.com/0fABraLLAr— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) July 23, 2017
After pumping fresh air down into the chute with a hose, the firefighters eventually got a harness on him and pulled him back up out of the muck. He was treated on the scene, and released in good condition (and with his phone) about an hour after he had fallen in. Not a bad start to the week.