Aerial Ladder Topples During Drill
Two Los Angeles, Calif., firemen were hurt when an extended aerial ladder toppled and pitched them to the ground during a routine drill.
The firemen, Theodore W. O’Meila, Jr., 24, and Robert E. Campbell, 39, were operating a 2 1/2-inch line from the extended aerial when the rig lurched and the ladder fell slowly to the soft ground.
Newspaper reports said the freak accident might have been caused by one of the supporting jacks sinking into soft grave beside the roadway.
Fireman O’Meila suffered a frontal skull fracture when his head struck a rung of the aerial when it hit the ground. Fireman Campbell, who also rode the aerial down, suffered a sprained right ankle and cuts and bruises. O’Meila was operating the stream and Campbell was below him.
The mishap occurred at Sixth Street and Mission Road where Truck 4 commonly drills. The aerial was extended to 85 feet at the time of the accident.
The falling ladder wrenched the trailer and tractor onto its side.