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2 Workers Rescued After Cherry Picker Catches Fire

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The men were recued after their cherry picker caught on fire. (Source: CBS4)

The men were recued after their cherry picker caught on fire. (Source: CBS4)

Peter-D'oench-600x450 Peter D'Oench
Peter D'Oench is a reporter for CBS4 News. He came to CBS4 from ...
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MIAMI GARDENS (CBS4)- Some might call it the miracle at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. But authorities said it was an accident that could have easily claimed two lives.

Instead, some 30 feet above the church, two men were rescued after being shocked and burned when their “cherry picker” hit power lines. They were rushed to the Ryder Trauma Center.

There were some tense and dramatic moments at the scene at Northwest 34th Avenue and 213th Street. As the cherry picker hit the power lines, its hydraulic lift caught fire. And the men, including 41-year-old Ivan Ramirez, were perched precariously above the church and next to the power lines for about 30 minutes.

Authorities said a Florida Power and Light crew used its own cherry picker to rescue the men, who were then taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Dramatic pictures from Chopper 4 showed the scene. Despite his injuries, Ramirez was seen on his cell phone calling his brother Dino, who rushed to the scene.

That’s where he told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “He called me to say he was hurt while doing his job. He said it was an accident. He was doing his job. I was worried. I came here to see him and now I am going to the hospital to check on him.”

Ramirez said, “I am grateful that he was not hurt more seriously. This could have been very, very bad.”

Miami-Dade Fire Department Battalion Chief Phil Osaba told D’Oench that the men were working on a security light. It’s not known how they hit the power lines.

“The FPL crew had a challenge getting the men down,” said Osaba.

On the ground, one of the men was seen walking to a stretcher before he was put in the ambulance.

Osaba said this accident could have been much more serious.

“Normally, in such accidents,” said Osaba, “we generally see much serious results.”

Fortunately, the rubber tires on the hydraulic lift provided a “proper grounding” for the unit and may have lessened the shock that the men received, Osaba said.

Representatives of the church declined to comment about the accident and talk about the nature of the work.

FPL told CBS4 it was forced to shut down power for about 1,600 homes for about 30 minutes as a precaution while firefighters were on the scene.

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