• Fire crews lowered a rope ladder with the help of which the man was lifted to safety
  • He was healthy enough to climb on his own
  • Police had been searching for the man after he was reported missing

A man has been rescued three days after he fell into an abandoned, 20-feet-deep stone cistern near a Japanese-style Pagoda atop Mount Penn, overlooking the eastern Pennsylvania city of Reading.

During a rescue operation at around 8:30 a.m. Friday, fire crews lowered a rope ladder into the cistern, and with the man's help, boosted it to safety, the Reading Eagle reported. How the man got into the cistern was not known but Reading Fire Department Second Deputy Fire Chief Michael Glore told the outlet that he was healthy enough to climb out on his own.

Police had been searching for the man after he was reported missing and alerted fire authorities after cops found him at the bottom of the cistern through the 3-foot wide opening near the concrete steps at the foot of Mount Penn.

The search for the man had intensified after police located his abandoned car near the pagoda, WAGL-TV reported.

Before the man climbed up, a rescuer went down the ladder to check on the man and found him conscious and alert. After the man insisted he could climb on his own, the rescuer attached a safety line to him and followed him as he climbed his way up.

The unidentified person was then transported to an area hospital. The extent of his injuries wasn’t immediately known. Glore told the Reading Eagle that rescuers are specially trained for carrying out operations in confined spaces that tend to lack oxygen.

"One of the things we do in any confined-space rescue is constantly monitored atmospheric conditions with one of our monitoring devices," Glore told the publication.

Glore added that the cistern might have been visible on the slope below the pagoda in the past but it is now obscured by vegetation that grew around the site for decades.

The City Public Works department was working to weld shut the opening, the Reading Eagle reported.

In March 2019, a man was critically injured after falling 70-foot into the caldera of the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island. The man tumbled into the volcano’s caldera after getting too close to the edge of the cliff and losing his footing. Rescue crews airlifted him out of the caldera using ropes and rushed him to a hospital.

Cistern Pixabay