NEW RIVER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said a teenager has been rescued after he fell into a mining shaft in New River Friday evening. It happened in the area of Desert Hills and New River Road.
Deputies said the 17-year-old boy was riding an all-terrain vehicle when he fell about 50 feet into the shaft around 6 p.m. When crews arrived at the scene, they saw the four-wheeler flipped over and on top of the boy in the mine shaft. The extent of the teen's injuries is unknown at this time, but he is conscious and alert.
Firefighters pulled the boy out of the mine shaft shortly after 8 p.m. Officials from the Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical Department said the entry to the mine shaft was very steep. Crews from Phoenix, Glendale and Peoria were also on scene to lend a hand. The teen was airlifted by a helicopter to Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Alicia went out for a run Sunday when she got lost and fell about 20 feet into an abandoned mine.
Mine shaft rescues are nothing out of the ordinary here in Arizona. Last month, a long-distance trail runner was rescued from one in Cave Creek. In 2018, a 62-year-old man in western Arizona was saved after falling 40 to 50 feet down a mine shaft.
State officials need more resources to locate and secure an estimated 100,000 abandoned mines across Arizona. According to Laurie Swartzbaugh, Deputy Director at the Arizona State Mine Inspector’s Office, the agency has two abandoned mine supervisors tasked with locating abandoned mines. The program runs on an annual budget of less than $200,000.
"Mine shafts are especially dangerous because we don't know what kind of elements are in there," said PIO Paul Schickel of Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical. He added that HAZMAT was at the scene monitoring the atmosphere to ensure the safety of the rescuers who went into the mine shaft to save the teen.
MCSO deputies are assisting several Fire Department Teams after a 17 year old boy has fallen into some type of shaft in the area of Desert Hills and New River Road. The boy was riding a quad and fell in the shaft. Fire personnel is working to get the boy out. pic.twitter.com/Z8w2NcvG7x— @SgtJEnriquez (@SgtJEnriquez) May 23, 2020