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Officials: Woman Dangling From Bridge Was Trespassing

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A woman who was walking on a railroad bridge over the New River became "stuck" on the bridge when it lifted.  Officials said she was trespassing. October 12, 2013 (Credit: Lisa Hoyt, CBS4 Viewer)

A woman who was walking on a railroad bridge over the New River became “stuck” on the bridge when it lifted. Officials said she was trespassing. October 12, 2013 (Credit: Lisa Hoyt, CBS4 Viewer)

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South Florida Crime

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The  woman who could be seen dangling from a railroad bridge Saturday was trespassing, according to city officials, and could be in big trouble for her actions.

Police responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls Saturday morning of reports that a woman was dangling from the railroad bridge that crosses the New River in Ft. Lauderdale.

The 55-year-old woman, according to Matt Little the spokesperson for the City of Fort Lauderdale, was crossing the bridge when it began opening.

Calls came in around 10:45 am as the woman was left hanging on the bridge which was in the upright position—22 feet above the tracks. The bridge is located between Riverfront and the historic district.

The firefighters, through verbal contact, advised the woman of rescue plans. The firefighters deployed a 24 foot ladder, as a crowd of spectators watched, and the woman was rescued.

Click here for a photo gallery. 

Sunday afternoon, Matt Little, a spokesperson for the City of Fort Lauderdale released this statement:

“We are thankful that the individual involved in this life-threatening incident survived. The decision to trespass on private property was an unfortunate, poor choice that endangered the trespasser’s life as well as the lives of the first responders.  The decision to cross the clearly marked railroad bridge should not be lauded. We hope the news reports about this incident will help to educate the public about the dangers of pedestrians attempting to cross railroad bridges. Public safety is the City’s top priority.”

Since the property is owned by Florida East Coast railway, the company would have to ask Fort Lauderdale Police to press charges, according to Little.  That has not happened yet.

The woman, while frightened from the incident, was not injured.

The Dania Beach woman, dressed in pink, told firefighters that she had participated in a breast cancer awareness walk earlier in the morning. However, it is not known why she was on the railroad bridge as pedestrians are not permitted there.

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