Rescue crews worked more than three hours Saturday to free a man trapped amid tons of pipes in a rail car at the Union Pacific Railroad yard along Weber Avenue, north of Clinton Avenue.
The man, identified only as a possible transient, called for help on a cellphone around 10 a.m. Minutes later, authorities cruised slowly along lines of rail cars in central Fresno and listened for the sound of the man's voice to find him.
The man was taken to Community Regional Medical Center, but authorities did not release information about his injuries or condition. He was conscious and speaking with firefighters when he was lifted out of the rail car at 1:21 p.m.
Fresno Fire Department officials said the man had become wedged against a wall in an open rail car when large pipes suddenly shifted. Officials said the man appeared to be riding in the rail car.
The rescue was complicated by the weight of the pipes, officials said. Rescuers moved very slowly to avoid any further shift that might have injured the man. Using powerful hydraulic equipment, they moved the pipes enough to lift the man out.
A special surgical team had been brought to the scene in case it was necessary to amputate a limb to get the man out.
The rescue effort involved more than 50 people from various agencies, including the Clovis Fire Department.