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GA Firefighters Rescue Toddler From Bank Vault

GA Firefighters Rescue Toddler From Bank Vault

A 14-month-old girl who spent several hours trapped inside a time-locked bank vault is carried away from a Wells Fargo bank branch in Conyers, Ga. on Friday, Feb. 25, 2011.

Associated Press

February 28, 2011

CONYERS, GA – Firefighters worked ferociously for several hours last night to free a 14-month-old toddler who had wandered into Conyers, Ga., bank vault and became trapped.

After pumping oxygen into the air-tight vault at the Wells Fargo bank in Conyers, rescue workers and a safe technician were able to reach the crying toddler, who was trapped for approximately four hours.

According to a spokesman for the Conyers Police Department, the baby and her mother, who are the grandchild and daughter of one of the bank’s employees, were inside the premises at the bank’s closing time.

Soon the toddler began to wander around the bank, and unbeknownst to her mother, walked into the bank’s vault.

The vault, which is fitted with a time-lock close, must have shut immediately after the child wandered inside, according to ABC News affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta.

“During close down this evening, customers had left the bank and the toddler walked off and walked into the vault and just about the time the vault closed with its time lock,” Mike Lee of the Rockdale County Fire Department said.

After an unsuccessful search, bank staff assumed the child was inside the vault, and they quickly contacted authorities were quickly contacted.

Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson told The Associated Press it was a "very tense scene " and that it took approximately four hours after the vault locked the child inside for her to be rescued.

“That was one of the better moments I’ve ever witnessed,” Wilson said of the rescue. Ron Snively, the safe technician brought in to free the trapped child, told WSB-TV that the job was nothing out of the ordinary for him — except for the child.

“This is what I do all the time, other than a child being in there it was an easy job. You take the drill point and unlock it,” he said.

“She was crying before I got to her. She was scared because of the drilling noise and all that, but once I heard her crying I knew everything was okay, it was just a matter of time,” he added.

Wells Fargo spokesman Jay Lawrence told WSB-TV that though the baby was trapped inside the vault for four hours, she was not in any danger.

“The toddler was safe the whole time,” Lawrence said.

“She’s great,” Conyers told WSB. “I think she had cried for a while but when they went in there she was just laying there, she took the fellow that opened the safe, she took him a note, and this is one of those things, this is a happy ending, it’s nice to have one of these.”


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