Rescuers free worker buried under debris inside dumpster

Yeury Santana says he's lucky to be alive

By Liane Morejon - Reporter, Tim Swift - Digital Editor

MIAMI - Rescue workers freed a man from a dumpster Monday after a trash chute gave way, burying him under a large amount of debris and scaffolding.

Capt. Ignatius Carroll, a spokesman for Miami Fire-Rescue, said 25-year-old roofer Yeury Santana was working when the incident occurred just before 3 p.m. near Oak Avenue and Virginia Street in the city's Coconut Grove section.

Santana, who was inside the dumpster when the chute gave way, suffered minor injuries. Santana was treated at Jackson Memorial Hospital and was released Monday evening. 

He told reporters as he left the hospital that he was tired, but grateful to be alive.

"Thank you Jesus, for everything. Thank you," he said.

Santana said he tried crouching to shield himself from the debris. Members of Miami Fire Rescue’s technical rescue team used a crane from the nearby construction site to lift the debris. 

Santana was shaken up, but was able to walk to the stretcher on his own.

Yeury Santana was released from the hospital Monday after suffering minor injuries.

Carroll said the trash chute was clogged with a lot of building material, which may have contributed to the failing of the parapet wall on top of the roof. The official cause of the incident, however, remains under investigation.

Carroll said several vehicles in the parking lot had minor damage. 

Aside from a bump to the elbow and head, Santana said he was OK but knows full well how close he came to tragedy.

“I’m very happy because I can see my family today,” he said.

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