76-Year-Old Man Gets Trapped in UES Synagogue's Ritual Pool, FDNY Says

By Trevor Kapp and Heather Holland  on September 2, 2014 11:48am

 A 76-year-old man got stuck in a shaft that feeds water to the ritual pool in the Chabad Upper East Side on Sept. 2, 2014, FDNY said.
A 76-year-old man got stuck in a shaft that feeds water to the ritual pool in the Chabad Upper East Side on Sept. 2, 2014, FDNY said.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

UPPER EAST SIDE — A 76-year-old man had to be rescued from an Upper East Side synagogue Tuesday morning after his legs got trapped in a shaft that feeds water into the synagogue’s ritual pool, officials said.

The man, whose identity was not immediately released, was inside the Chabad Upper East Side at 419 E. 77th St. at 9:30 a.m. when he accidentally stepped into a 3-foot-wide-by-3-foot-deep shaft that feeds water into the ritual pool, or mikvah, the FDNY said.

The shaft is normally closed off, but the pool was being cleaned at the time, fire officials said.

The man's legs slipped into the shaft, trapping him there, and prompting him to begin screaming for help, according to a member of the synagogue who declined to give his name. Members of the Chabad found him and called 911, the member said.

It took 15 minutes for emergency workers to free him, and then they took him to a nearby hospital with a possible broken leg, according to FDNY chief Mark Rosenbaum.

“He’s in good shape,” Rosenbaum said. “He was apologizing for falling into the hole.”

A member at the synagogue said the 76-year-old man was a regular at the Chabad.

The synagogue's executive director did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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