VALENCIA, Pa. – A teenager who was chasing a ball at recess became trapped under a heavy concrete slab for about two hours Tuesday before emergency crews could remove it and rush him to a hospital.
Robert Maust, 14, was pale and cold but otherwise in good spirits when crews pulled him from the gully where he had been stuck, said his father, Jason.
The teenager was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital, where he was listed in good condition, a hospital spokesman said Tuesday night.
"It's like getting the gift of life all over again," Jason Maust said. "He doesn't know how lucky he is."
The accident happened at about 12:15 p.m. when Robert ran after a ball that had rolled down a hill from the Holy Sepulcher School, his father said. It was unclear how the concrete slab, which measured about six feet by three feet, ended up on top of the teenager.
Emergency crews could only see the top of the boy's head and one of his hands as they worked to remove the slab. They inflated air bags under the concrete and used a harness to remove it.
The accident happened about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh in Butler County.
As the boy was being moved out of the ditch and into a waiting medical helicopter, he thanked the workers who freed him and smiled, his father said.
Jason Maust he did not understand why the piece of concrete was there unsecured.
Officials at Holy Sepulcher School had no immediate comment Tuesday. The Catholic school has 185 students.