Con Ed workers trapped below ground

Three Con Edison workers were 110 feet below the south Bronx on Thursday, February 12 when their elevator came to a frightening halt.

The snafu brought dozens of fire trucks and ambulances screaming to Con Ed’s Bronx-Queens access tunnel at the end of Locust Avenue, a lonely, windswept block.

It took firefighters nearly three hours to haul the trapped elevator operator and two mechanics out of the 261-foot deep shaft. The firefighters emerged covered in grime.

Emergency staff examined the Con Ed workers on the scene. All three were taken to Jacobi Medical Center, although none suffered serious injuries.

According to Local 1-2 Utility Workers Union of America business agent Bruce Farina, one worker stayed at Jacobi overnight for observation. The three workers were on their way down to repair an access tunnel. When the elevator malfunctioned and stopped, they used an elevator phone to call for help.

“We have many outstanding safety concerns related to the access tunnels,” Farina said. “Thankfully, today the telephone worked.”

Con Ed spokesman Alfonso Quiroz wouldn’t elaborate on the tunnel use, citing security concerns. Quiroz did state that the workers were preparing to carry out routine maintenance.

“We’re still looking at what happened with the malfunction,” Quiroz said. “We’re grateful our employees weren’t injured.”

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