Helicopter rescues stranded crane operator high above a raging inferno

Updated Dec 19, 2013

A student housing complex under construction in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, caught fire Tuesday afternoon, stranding a crane operator high above the inferno below.

Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, explosions were heard at the site, according to the CBC. Thought to be the sound of propane tanks exploding, the resulting blaze engulfed the under-construction housing complex and spread to the roof of a building nearby.

Everyone was safely evacuated from the area, save for one man: the operator of the tower crane at the jobsite. The operator fled his cab to the end of the working jib where he waited nearly two hours for rescue.

But rescue did come. Search and rescue technician Sgt. Cory Cisyk of the Royal Canadian Air Force dangled from a CH-146 Griffon helicopter, strapped the operator in and lifted him up into the chopper.

Cisyk told the CBC that the rescue was unusual and a bit difficult since it took some convincing (understandably) to get the operator to stand up at so he could be strapped in.

You can watch video of the heroic rescue below.

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