Crews had to rescue two men Monday afternoon who were injured after a train hit the boom truck they were on.
Officials say it happened in West Des Moines just south of the Grand Avenue Bridge project at I-35 at around 1:20 p.m. The locomotive of a freight train hit a boom truck, throwing the two men off.
One was flung 200 feet away, causing serious injuries. The other man was able to grab onto a bridge girder 40 foot up as firefighters raced to the scene.
“We just know they were in an articulating boom which came in contact with the train which then catapulted one and one either jumped or grabbed on underneath this bridge,” West Des Moines Fire Marshall Lt. Mike Whitsell explained.
With the worker starting to lose his grip after hanging on for an hour, firefighters used a crane to lower a rescuer to him.
The entire rescue was caught on tape.
One of the men is suffering from life threatening injuries. Medics say the man pulled from beneath the bridge suffered minor injuries.
The firefighters who responded to the accident were just a few blocks away, battling a house fire.
The names of the two men who work for United Contractors have not been released.
The Iowa Interstate Railroad is investigating the accident.