A 15-year-old male was rescued and he and four other juveniles cited for trespassing after the youth fell down a coal chute at the old Acme Power Plant this week.
The incident occurred shortly after 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Volunteers from the Tongue River Fire Department, along with Goose Valley Fire, Sheridan Fire and Rescue and Sheridan Search and Rescue, were called to the scene after the youth fell about 35 to 40 feet to the bottom of the chute inside the building and became trapped.
According to Jeff Barron, captain of the Tongue River Fire Department, the rescue took about two hours and involved use of Sheridan Fire Rescue’s high-angle rescue equipment.
According to a report from the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Department, the youth severely injured his right hip. He was extracted at about 5:40 p.m. and transported by ambulance to Sheridan Memorial Hospital.
The old Acme plant belongs to the Sheridan County Conservation District, which has posted the metal fence surrounding the building with “No Trespassing” signs.
According to the sheriff’s office, the ages of the five juveniles involved range from 14 to 15 years, and they entered the property through a portion of the fence that is clearly marked with “No Trespassing” signs.
The power plant, which was built in 1910, has been the focus of clean-up and reclamation efforts since being acquired by the conservation district and is considered dangerous both for physical and chemical hazards on the property. The sheriff’s office encourages people to contact the office immediately if anyone is observed trespassing on the property.