PICS: Inside dramatic four-hour horse rescue

2016-05-11 21:07
The horse is helped out of the hole. (Screengrab from supplied video)

The horse is helped out of the hole. (Screengrab from supplied video)

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Johannesburg - A group of men were the difference between life and death for a horse, saved after a marathon rescue effort after it fell into a manhole in the City of Ekurhuleni on Tuesday.

- Read more: Horse missing for three days rescued from hole

Specialised Urban Search and Rescue technicians from Ekurhuleni, aided by their counterparts from City of Johannesburg and Tshwane, rallied to save the life of the stricken steed.

Emergency crew leader Tony Stacey, who spoke exclusively to News24, said that their equine patient had likely been stuck standing up in the storm water inspection hatch for nearly 24 hours.

“The owner of the horse said he had left the animal to graze and it had fallen in. Judging by the animal’s condition we think it was there for 24 hours,” he said.

(Tony Stacey, supplied)

Stacey and his team and scrambled to action when they received the emergency call, taking with them all the tools they would need to cut through thick concrete and steel.

“When we got a picture of the scene I knew we would need concrete breakers and earth moving equipment,” he said.

He said that when they arrived they decided to start digging alongside the underground structure as the area made getting a crane in to lift the horse out the top near impossible.

(Tony Stacey, supplied)


The men, rallying together, began hacking at the earth with spades to free the distressed horse.

Later a man with an earthmover joined the rescue effort, Stacey said.

“My guys then started with specialised concrete cutters and concrete chainsaws and they managed to make an exit point for the horse to get out of.

“The horse was given a mild sedative and we were able to work without distressing the animal and after four hours we managed to make the hole big enough,” Stacey added.  

Stacey said that there was a tangible sense of elation when his team saw the horse emerge from the hole.


(Tony Stacey, supplied)

(Tony Stacey, supplied)

(Netcare 911)

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  good news  |  animals

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