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Youths get trapped at vantage point for implosion

Monday, February 12, 2001

By Nate Guidry, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Like many area residents yesterday, four boys were looking for the best view of the implosion of Three Rivers Stadium, to record a mental moment in time. So they scaled a fence along Grandview Avenue to climb down to a place where no one would be in front of them. But hours after the stadium had been reduced to rubble and the cloud of dust had dissipated, the boys realized it wasn't as easy to get back up the hill.

One of three youths who were stranded on a Mount Washington hillside is rescued yesterday. A group climbed down the hill to get a better view of the Three Rivers Stadium implosion. (Franka Bruns, Post-Gazette)

One of the boys was able to scramble up the hill by himself, then paramedics from Pittsburgh Medic 7 rescued the other three.

The rescue, which involved medics rappelling down the hillside and helping the boys climb up, took more than an hour. The boys, who police refused to identify, weren't injured.

Police said they received a call that the boys were trapped at 12:07 p.m. The call came from a Station Square parking attendant.

Within minutes, several units of paramedics responded to scene. The entrances to Grandview Avenue were closed.

Three ropes were anchored to a fence along Grandview. Then rescue workers lowered themselves down the hilltop into a thicket of trees and brush.

Around 1:20 p.m., the first trapped youngster emerged wearing blues jeans and a sports jacket. He helped himself up the hill by pulling the rope and was greeted by emergency personnel and the police.

A few minutes later, the other two boys were brought to safety. Cold and speechless, they were ushered into a police vehicle just a few feet away.

"Except for being cold and fearful none of the boys were hurt," said paramedic April Slifko, acting crew chief of Medic 7, who assisted in the rescue. "They obviously didn't realize how steep the hillside is. Most people don't realize it."

The boys were taken into custody pending notification of family. Police refused to identify the boys because they were minors.

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