CALIFORNIA -- Firefighters, veterinarians and police helped rescue a horse after the animal and its owner tumbled into an underground utility vault Saturday while leaving Taco Bell in Riverside, California, authorities said.
Fire officials found the horse just after 9 p.m. Saturday, neck-deep in a collapsed portion of sidewalk in Riverside’s Ramona neighborhood, the Press-Enterprise reported.
It had fallen through a vault cover and into a hole about 5 by 10 feet wide and 5 feet deep, authorities said.
"I don’t think it was designed -- or anyone would’ve expected -- that a horse would be walking there, in that part of the city," Battalion Chief Jeff DeLaurie told the Press-Enterprise
Officials determined the horse was unlikely to make it out of the hole on its own and called in the city’s Heavy Animal Rescue Team. The team is made up of members of the fire department’s Technical Rescue Team, a veterinarian and mounted police.
A veterinarian sedated the horse and authorities called for a crane to assist in the rescue efforts.
The efforts ended just after 10 p.m., when the horse was able to jump from the hole on its own, according to KNBC.
A veterinarian checked over the horse and found it had lacerations on both legs, according to the news station. Fire officials said the horse’s owner brought a trailer to the scene to take the horse to a veterinarian for further evaluation.
The horse’s owner did not appear to have suffered injuries.
City of Riverside Fire Department added 4 new photos.
April 2 at 9:13am ·
Wards 3 and 5 / Horse Rescue / 5600 Block of Arlington cross of Phoenix / Incident #17-009421
The City of Riverside Fire Department responded to a report of a rider fallen from a horse in the 5600 block of Arlington Avenue. When the first fire unit arrived on scene, they found a horse that had fallen into a utility vault. They immediately requested assistance from the City of Riversides Heavy Animal Rescue Team (HART). The HART team is made up of on-duty personnel from the fire departments Technical Rescue Team, as well as an on-call Veterinarian, and personnel from Riverside Police Departments mounted unit.
The injuries to the horse were not immediately clear, but it did not look like the animal would be able to get out on its own. A crane was requested to assist rescue personnel with extricating the horse once it was sedated by the Veterinarian. While firefighters were preparing the horse for extrication from the vault, the animal made several unsuccessful attempts to get out of the hole.
Finally, the horse was able to climb out of the hole with assistance from firefighters and the animals owner.
The Horses injuries were assessed by the vet before it was released to its owner. The owner brought in a horse trailer to transport the animal to a personal veterinarian for further evaluation. Riverside Public Utilities is currently working to place a temporary cover over the open vault.
Pictures courtesy of City of Riverside Fire Department retired Captain Bob Markin.
(KIRO - April 6, 2017)