FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.-- A woman got the scare of a lifetime when the railroad bridge she was walking along began to open - leaving her dangling helplessly.
Firefighters rescued the 55-year-old woman on Saturday. She was not hurt.
The woman, who had participated in a breast cancer awareness walk earlier in the day, was walking across the New River railroad bridge in Fort Lauderdale when it began to open. Witnesses called 911 to report that the woman was dangling 22 feet above the tracks with the bridge in the upright position, city officials said.
"To tell you the truth, honestly I thought it was probably like a stunt
or something, it was just that unbelievable. I really didn't think she honestly
was trapped up there at first," Ashanicka Powell told WTVJ.
Firefighters responded and helped rescue the woman using a 24-foot ladder as
witnesses cheered them on.
"They harnessed the ladder up against the actual tracks and a
firefighter went and got her and we were all clapping, like we were just
amazed," Powell said.
The woman, who was wearing a pink shirt, told authorities she had taken part
in a breast cancer awareness walk earlier Saturday morning. It was not clear
why the woman, whose name was not immediately released, she was on the bridge
since pedestrians are not allowed on it.
"We are thankful that the individual involved in this life-threatening
incident survived. The decision to trespass on private property was an
unfortunate, poor choice that endangered the trespasser's life as well as the
lives of the first responders," Matt Little, spokesman for the city of
Fort Lauderdale, told CBS Miami on Sunday.
"The decision to cross the clearly marked railroad bridge should not be
lauded. We hope the news reports about this incident will help to educate the
public about the dangers of pedestrians attempting to cross railroad
bridges," he said.