Woman rescued after scaling construction crane in Winnipeg’s West Broadway area

Pedestrian and vehicle traffic were blocked for more than an hour Thursday night as numerous emergency personnel were called in to rescue a woman who had climbed a construction crane in Winnipeg’s West Broadway area.

Crews arrived just after 7:30 p.m. evening at the Sherbrook Street and Wolseley Avenue area, across the street from the Misericordia Health Centre, after the woman scaled to a height of over 150 feet (46 metres) above the ground, police said Friday.

Members from the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service’s technical rescue task force climbed the ladders that were part of the crane, using rope systems for protection, to get to the woman.

She was unwilling to be lowered by ropes so the rescue team had to help her climb back down the ladders.

Paramedics assessed the 21-year-old woman at the bottom and then police charged her with mischief.

Police spokesperson Const. Jay Murray could not say what the woman’s motive was for breaking into the construction site and climbing the crane but noted there were no outward signs of drug use or mental health concerns.

She was also alone, he said.

“There was a substantial number of [emergency] resources that were allocated to help ensure this person’s safety,” Murray said.

Aside from the fire-paramedic crews, many police officers were called in to block traffic and keep pedestrians out of the area.

“It’s also very unsafe. This person was well over 150 feet up in the air and you can only imagine what would have happened had there been an accident or if that person had slipped and fallen,” Murray said.

He alluded to the many videos and photographs that are posted on social media by thrill-seekers scaling buildings and cranes for attention.

“Those videos, when they’re shared, they’re quite harrowing and they do certainly sometimes attract somewhat of a viral nature,” Murray said.

“We don’t know in this case if it was videotaped at all or if it was livestreamed. We haven’t discovered if it was at this point. It’s certainly possible.”

He also noted there are many stories and videos online of thrill-seekers whose climb turned fatal.

“Just to reiterate, it is incredibly dangerous,” Murray said.

A new assisted living centre for seniors is being built at the West Broadway construction site, which was previously the location of the Misericordia Education and Resource Centre.

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