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Toddler rescued after falling down shaft near Ramstein Air Base

Members of the Kaiserslautern Military Community line up in preparation for the Trunk or Treat event to start at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 31, 2016. (Senior Airman Jimmie D. Pike/U.S. Air Force)

Rescue workers freed a 17-month-old American boy after he became stuck in a deep shaft for three hours in a village near Ramstein Air Base.

The boy lifted the cover of an empty corrugated plastic conduit while playing with his mother and brother outside their home in Erzenhausen on Monday. He fell into the conduit, estimated between 10-15 feet deep and a foot wide at about 3 p.m., according to a Westpfalz Police Department statement and Ramstein base officials. Workers freed the boy around 6 p.m., police said.

German fire department personnel used a small excavator to dig a hole next to the tubing, then dug by hand the rest of the way to open the conduit and free the toddler.

The boy is the son of a U.S. contractor working on Ramstein, base officials said.

The child appeared uninjured but was taken via rescue helicopter to Homburg University Hospital for observation, according to Westpfalz police and base officials.

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Support from 569th U.S. Forces Police personnel on scene was primarily directed toward coordinating between the family and German first responders, base officials said Tuesday.

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