Workers critically injured after falling in Pontiac water tower

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Two men are in critical condition after falling inside a water tower in Pontiac Friday.

SkyFOX was over the scene during the precarious rescue before the men were airlifted to a hospital. Both men were in surgery late Friday night and in critical condition.

"Of course we are concerned, some of them are related and stuff," said Frank Kooraj.

Frank Kooraj felt helpless as two of his relatives, who also work for Seven Brothers Painting fell and became trapped inside the Pontiac water tower.

FOX 2 is told the men were on mobile scaffolding, compared to something window washers would use on skyscrapers, painting the inside of the dome. It is something these workers have done before many times.

"It is not dangerous at all," Kooraj said. "Stuff happens sometimes."

But this time fire officials say something caused the equipment to malfunction and collapse causing both workers to fall 30 feet.

SkyFOX captured emergency crews from the Oakway Special Response team made up of eight Oakland County Fire Departments in action. Firefighters faced a challenge how to rescue the men trapped on a ledge - 100 feet up.

"The actual tube you have to enter to bring the patient out has a very small access door," said Dep. Chief Matt Covey, Waterford Fire Department. "That makes it very difficult. All that equipment has to come through that space plus the patients."

To get each worker out, firefighters would have to harness one man at a time. A firefighter at the top of the dome would then carefully lower each injured worker down the narrow tube to the crew waiting below.

"Hundreds of hours of training these guys go through," said Covey. "Obviously today it worked. Both patients made it out and hopefully the outcome is positive."

One man was rushed by ambulance to McLaren Hospital - the other was airlifted to Beaumont.

Oakland County's Water Resource Commission is in charge of the tower.

The state has been called in to investigate what went wrong with the sub-contractors.


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