Cold and wet, man rescued from tunnel in Minneapolis

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH
  • Star Tribune
  • August 21, 2012 - 9:01 PM

A Fire Department rescue team pulled to safety a man trapped in a tunnel early Tuesday under the old Pillsbury Mill across from downtown Minneapolis, authorities said.

The man walked to an ambulance, which took him to Hennepin County Medical Center. Authorities have not disclosed his condition.

While authorities have yet to say why the man and a friend were in the tunnel, the Pillsbury building has been a favorite for years of exploring trespassers known as urban spelunkers.

In Minneapolis and elsewhere, these adventurers slink in and out of dark spaces -- some deep below ground, others several stories high -- often recording their exploits in pictures, videos and blogs.

The rescue crew was called to the building on SE. Main Street shortly before 3:30 a.m. by a man who said his friend was stuck in the tunnels below, said Assistant Fire Chief Cherie Penn.

Firefighters traveled about 200 feet into the tunnel with ropes, harnesses and ladders, then brought him out shortly before dawn to the waiting ambulance, Penn added.

Fire Battalion Chief Tony Kuczak told KSTP-TV, Channel 5, that the man was "very tired, very cold" and had to deal with rushing water before being brought out.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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