A crane operator has played down the praise he was given after he lifted a man to safety from a burning high-rise building in England
LONDON — A crane operator played down the praise he was given Thursday after he lifted a man to safety from a burning high-rise in England.
A video clip from the scene in the town of Reading in southern England showed a man being rescued by a crane cage from the roof of a building under construction while thick columns of dark smoke and flames rose around him.
The crowd gathered near the building exploded in applause when the man was lifted into the air and then lowered to the ground.
Crane operator Glenn Edwards, 65, described the situation as “near doom” due to the stormy conditions.
Edwards, who was working at the site before the fire broke out, said: “I was no more than 20 meters in the air and I looked out my left window and saw a man standing in the corner of the building.”
He added: “I just saw him and someone said to me: ‘Can you install the cage?’ So that’s it. I put the cage on and handed it to him as best I could.”
He said he tried to place the cage between the man and the flames, but “the wind that was swirling around him prevented him.”
“But I lowered the cage and was able to get him in there,” he said.
Officials said that more than 50 firefighters arrived at the scene to deal with the fire, and another man was extracted from the building by crane. The two men were taken to the hospital to receive treatment for smoke inhalation. The fire was extinguished later Thursday.
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