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Firefighters Rescue Woman Locked in Park

By Mathew Katz | April 19, 2013 12:24pm

HELL'S KITCHEN — A woman was trapped in a Hell's Kitchen park after workers apparently failed to realize she was there — and locked her inside.

Firefighters responded to a panicked call from the Matthews-Palmer Playground, on West 45th Street between Ninth and 10th Avenues, Wednesday from a woman who said she tried to leave the park but found the exit gates locked.

The incident was first reported by A Walk In The Park, which claimed that similar incidents were "widespread" around the city.

Rescue workers were forced to cut the lock about 8:30 p.m. to let the woman out, an FDNY spokesman said. FDNY could not give any more information about the woman's identity.

Parks Department workers typically close up playgrounds around dusk, according to the agency's website.

It was not immediately clear if the staffers checked to see if anyone was in the park before they locked it Wednesday. The department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.