Boy, 3, Locked In Bank Vault Fire Crews With Drills Rush To The Rescue

Fire crews drilled ceiling holes and dropped candy bars to a 3-year-old boy locked inside a bank vault Saturday before rescuing the child unharmed after four hours.

Landon Garcia’s mother, Carolyn Garcia, a 29-year-old assistant bank manager, had found her son “monkeying around” inside the vault at about 12:45 p.m. after bringing him along to her Saturday shift at the bank, a rescue worker said.

She told him to get out, but the door closed automatically. With the 6-by-6-foot vault time-locked until Monday, fire crews brought in hydraulic drills.

Eighteen-inch-thick concrete side walls reinforced with steel hampered rescue efforts at first. Crews had better luck drilling holes in the ceiling, which was a third as thick.

They found Landon crying and frightened from the racket. Rescuers piped oxygen under the vault door, and dropped a water bottle and candy bars from the ceiling holes.

After drilling two 12-inch holes in the ceiling, rescuers hoisted firefighter Mike Foley down into the vault.

“He didn’t even look dusty,” a plaster-smudged Foley said later. He said the boy was calm and handed him a key he had found.

“Hi Mom,” Landon reportedly said as he was handed up to paramedics and his mother, before being whisked away to a hospital for examination.


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