Two teens freed from Ceredo shaft
CEREDO — Firefighters rescued two teenagers from a floodwall shaft late night Thursday in Ceredo.
The incident caused no serious injuries, but deeply frustrated Ceredo Volunteer Fire Chief David Caudill. He struggled Friday morning to find a good reason for the teens to have been in the area.
The 40-foot shaft is part of Ceredo’s floodwall pumping system, Caudill said. It pumps excess water from a pond within the protected area to a spot beyond the floodwall. It’s accessible by way of a 20-foot catwalk, and four grates cover its 4-by-12 foot opening.
Caudill said firefighters noticed one of the grates was displaced upon their arrival. He described it as a heavy-duty covering not easily moved by wind or similar conditions. Such a reality added to his frustration.
“The whole story is kind of bizarre,” he said. “There was no good reason to be over there.”
A dispatcher with the Ceredo Police Department described the incident as under investigation. He said potential charges are pending, but provided no further details. The police chief was unavailable for comment.
Wayne County 911 received word at 10:30 p.m. Thursday of an 18-year-old woman trapped in the shaft, which is located in the 1100 block of C Street in Ceredo. Firefighters arrived within 11 minutes and reported a second person also trapped inside. Caudill described that person as 17-year-old boy.
Caudill estimated the teenagers were chest deep in 10 feet of water. They were not treading water but were hanging onto a pipe at the time. Crews lowered Caudill into the shaft via harness, and he helped the woman with a harness to hoist her out.
Wayne County 911 dispatchers noted the woman as having been freed at 11:05 p.m., followed by the other teenager at 11:12 p.m.
Caudill said the teenagers appeared to be in good condition. Both were transported to an area hospital as a precaution, according to Caudill and dispatchers.
Caudill said the teenagers were joined at the shaft by a group of friends, one of whom called 911 for help.
Members of the Ceredo and Kenova Volunteer Fire Departments were among agencies that responded to the scene.
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