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Youth trapped in cave

July 10, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

DOWNSVILLE - A youth was trapped in a cave along the C&O Canal near Downsville for more than an hour Sunday night as a crew trained in confined-space rescues worked to free him.

According to a Washington County Emergency Services dispatcher, the victim was being taken to a Maryland State Police helicopter about 10:55 p.m.

Someone first reported a person had fallen about 12 feet into a cave at 8:52 p.m., Williamsport Volunteer Fire Lt. T.J. Barnes said. He and a firefighter crew waited near the Dam No. 4 Road entrance of the C&O Canal as special-operations personnel worked to free the victim about 10 p.m.

"We know he's injured, but they have not been able to make access (to him) yet. We do have crews down there," Barnes said.

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Tammy Parrish, an independent contractor for The Herald-Mail, said she and her husband went to the canal late Wednesday to pick up her son and his friend, who were fishing. They saw three males who said they planned to enter the cave, and they heard screams later when one of the boys apparently was hurt, Parrish said.

"They asked us if we wanted to go in the cave with them, and we were like, 'No, thank you,'" Parrish said. The males looked like teenagers, she said. "When we came back, the boy was screaming, 'Help, help!'" she said.

According to Parrish's son, Preston, 15, the cave is a big, gaping hole in the rocks. He said he did not know the boys.

The cave the boys entered is about 1/2 mile east of mile marker 84, Preston said.

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