Man rescued after at least 3 days in abandoned cistern

A man was rescued after at least three days at the bottom of an abandoned stone cistern near the landmark pagoda overlooking the eastern Pennsylvania city of Reading, authorities said.

The man was healthy enough to climb out on his own on a city fire department rope ladder Friday morning, the Reading Eagle reported.

Fire department rescuers were dispatched shortly before 8:30 a.m. Friday after police found him underground through the 3-foot-wide opening near the concrete steps at the foot of the stairs leading to the century-old landmark atop Mount Penn.

Second Deputy Fire Chief Michael Glore said the man, whose name wasn't released, had been reported missing and police started searching the area after finding his vehicle parked at the pagoda. He was taken to Reading Hospital; Glore said he didn't have information on the extent of injuries.

Glore said the cistern at one time probably was visible on the slope below the Pagoda, but decades of vegetation had obscured it. The city public works department was making arrangements to weld shut the opening.

The seven-story Reading Pagoda, built in 1908 as a luxury hotel resort and donated to the city in 1911, is 72 feet tall and 620 feet above the city and contains a Japanese bell made in 1739 at the top. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.



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