Snowboard park shutdown after worker's arm caught in gear shaft - FOX 35 News Orlando

Snowboard park shutdown after worker's arm caught in gear shaft

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Emergency crews responded to Raging Buffalo Snowboard Ski Park in Algonquin. | Photo from Griffin Flack Emergency crews responded to Raging Buffalo Snowboard Ski Park in Algonquin. | Photo from Griffin Flack
ALGONQUIN, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A 17-year-old worker whose arm became entangled in machinery Sunday at a northwest suburban snowboard park was freed within an hour and airlifted in critical condition to a hospital, authorities said.

Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Fire Department Asst. Chief Peter Van Dorpe said the call came in at 1:46 p.m. that an employee the Raging Buffalo Snowboard and Ski Park in Algonquin got his arm caught in a conveyor belt system that carries snowboarders to the top of the hill at the park on Route 31.

By 2:47 p.m., he was out and on his way via Flight for Life helicopter to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Van Dorpe said.

Numerous fire agencies responded to the technical rescue, Algonquin Fire Battalion Chief John Greene said. More than 30 personnel worked to free the boy's arm.

"In a lot of ways, it is not different" from extricating a victim from a car, Van Dorpe said. "It uses the same set of tools and the same skill set. But the mechanics are different."

"Something like this, we get once in a blue moon," he said.

A spokesman for the park confirmed the person injured was an employee and said the park closed due to an "emergency."

"The thing we care about most right now is the care for the person," the spokesman said.

Griffin Flack was at the ski park when the incident happened and said more than 10 fire trucks were on scene. The 17-year-old said an employee told him that an employee got his arm stuck in one of the gear shafts at the Magic Carpet, a beginner's hill.

"They closed down the hill," Flack said. "And there were a bunch of ambulances ... An employee said no children were injured."

A condition report was not immediately available Monday morning from the hospital, although Van Dorpe said he was in critical condition when transported.

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