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10-year-old Maryland girl rescued from well

Tuesday - 1/28/2014, 5:15am  ET

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A picnic table lays upside down, likely covering the hole of the well a child fell into in Pasadena, Md. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

PASADENA, Md. - A child was rescued Monday after she fell 30 feet into a Pasadena, Md. well.

While she was hospitalized, the 10-year-old girl's injuries weren't life threatening.

"It appears that there may have been a piece of plywood covering the well that may have deteriorated due to age, so that when her weight was on the plywood, it gave way beneath," said Capt. Michael Pfaltzgraff of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

Joanna Hood, who lives next door in the 800 block of 207th Street and used to babysit the girl, was home when the firetrucks arrived.

"They didn't know how far down she was and everything. I know they had tried to get a ladder and it didn't reach."

Hood said she could only imagine what the little girl was going through.

"I know she's got to be going crazy and flipping out in there," she said. "I was afraid she was going to get really hurt."

Initially, first responders couldn't reach the girl and a specially trained team was called in.

"Our confined space team lowered a firefighter into the well, attached a harness or some sort of securing device to the patient and then both were raised out of the hole together," said Pfaltzgraff.

Pfaltzgraff said teams monitored the conditions in the well and temperatures at the bottom were 30 degrees warmer than above ground. It was 20 degrees outside during the rescue, putting the temperatures at the base of the well at 50 degrees.

Throughout the ordeal, firefighters spoke to the girl from above and she continued to respond. Once their equipment was set up, it was only minutes before she was out.

"Due to the potential for severe injuries from a long fall and also concerns regarding hypothermia, she was transported via Maryland State Police Med Evac, to the Johns Hopkins pediatric emergency department in Baltimore," Pfaltzgraff said.

"We're all pleased that she wasn't injured any worse than what she was. This had the potential to be a very serious incident."

Pfaltzgraff credits the confined spaces team for the happy ending.

Anne Arundel Fire Department spokesman Keith Swindle tweeted a photo of the rescue effort:

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