Worker trapped near TV transmitter in NC mountains is rescued by helicopter

The top of Mount Pisgah, where a TV transmitter is located. Bing Maps image

MOUNT PISGAH, N.C. (WNCN) — A high-altitude rescue effort saved a worker who was trapped in at least 2 feet of snow near a TV station’s transmitting tower on Mount Pisgah on Monday night, officials say.

The incident involved a worker who became trapped while in a cable car to the top of the mountain, where a TV transmitter for WLOS-TV is located, according to Greg Shuping, Haywood County Emergency Management Director.

The top of Mount Pisgah, where a TV transmitter is located. Google maps image
Google maps image

The man, who was not injured, became stuck in the car and was surrounded by deep snow in the area and there were concerns about the man contracting hypothermia. Officials were first alerted about the incident around 4 p.m. Monday, Shuping said.

Helicopters and ground search teams were being used to help rescue the worker, who had not been reached by rescuers as of 9 p.m. Monday, Shuping said.

Five N.C. Mountain Rescue teams, comprised of 30 mountain rescue technicians from Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Mitchell counties, were among those deployed to support ground-based rescue efforts, NC Dept. of Public Safety officials said.

The NC Helicopter and Aquatic Rescue Team (NCHART) used a NC National Guard Black Hawk helicopter to rescue the worker, who was about 250 feet from the top and in about 2 to 3 feet of snow, officials said.

Crews then focused on making sure that ground search crews who were in the area to help are able to leave the mountain safely, Shuping said.

A worker for WLOS-TV in Asheville said that they did not have any employees involved in the incident.

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