A forklift truck operator trapped under tonnes of cheese stored in a warehouse in Shropshire has been rescued after an eight-hour operation. The man miraculously survived the incident unhurt.
Tomasz Wiszniewski was the only one to be trapped after the collapse of rows of metal shelving at the warehouse, while all the other workers in the building managed to escape.
Wiszniewski, who hails from Poland and is getting married this year, is said to have survived by staying inside his truck. His colleagues greeted him with cheers as he walked out of the rubble of metal rods and huge 20kg stacks of cheese. Witnesses said the collapse felt "like a sonic boom", The Telegraph reported. The paper quoted Rod Hammerton, deputy chief fire officer for Shropshire Fire Service, as saying that the rescue operation was carried out by urban search and rescue paramedics and 70 firefighters from multiple agencies.
"Getting to him is more like crawling over rubble, but rubble made of giant blocks of cheese," the officer said.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service termed the eight-hour long operation as one of the biggest in its history, BBC reported, adding fire crews used drones to cut through the building's roof to locate Wiszniewski. The crews also used specialist cutting equipment to make their way inside the building to rescue the man. Sniffer dogs from Merseyside were also employed in the search.
Although unhurt, Wiszniewski was taken to a hospital for a general check-up as a precautionary measure.
Debbie Belcher, daughter of warehouse owner Francis Edwards, was quoted as saying by The Telegraph that they will definitely investigate the collapse. "We will definitely be looking into what happened, but we have to wait for the reports until we see what happened. I'm just glad he remembered his training. We tell them all to stay in their trucks if anything falls down, and that's exactly what he did. Today is all about relief," Belcher reportedly said.