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Police spent 10 hours breaking into the vault of a New York jewelry store to free a buyer.


Alina Prikhodko

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On Wednesday, October 25, New York City police released a customer who was trapped behind the steel doors of a reinforced concrete vault at a New York City jewelry store for 10 hours, according to reports. Fox5NY.

Police were called to the Manhattan building Tuesday evening after a man was trapped trying to access his safe, according to Assistant Fire Chief John Sarrocco.

The building at 580 Fifth Avenue is known as the World Diamond Tower and houses several jewelry stores.

The man dialed 911 when he realized he was trapped, and within minutes a massive rescue operation was underway at the scene, officials said. Fire and police personnel were in contact with the man in the vault and were able to watch him on CCTV.

Sarrocco said the fire department's rescue units have tools capable of breaking through the 75-centimetre reinforced concrete walls of the vault. “The process of breaking through the wall of the vault has begun,” he said at a press conference at the scene.

Sarrocco said after about 10 hours, firefighters reached the steel sheathing and decided to refrain from further action out of fear that their attempts to save the person inside could harm him.

On the subject: Do not rush to dial 911: what services in New York will help in an emergency

“The problem with the sheathing is that we would have to use our cutters,” he said, “and that would affect the human experience in the vault.” The doors opened as scheduled around 7 a.m. and the man was released unharmed, Sarrocco said. Sarrocco did not explain how the man became trapped.

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