Crane operator rescued by helicopter from fire

23:58, Dec 17 2013

A crane operator has been plucked to safety by a hovering helicopter in a daring rescue in Canada after flames engulfed his rig, trapping him high above the ground for 90 terrifying minutes.

Dozens of firefighters were called to the large blaze at a construction site in downtown Kingston, Ontario, but could not reach the crane operator, who was photographed standing desperately at the end of the crane with no way out as intense flames engulfed the machinery below him.

Construction workers feared the crane could topple at any moment, according to a CKWS Newswatch journalist Morganne Campbell, who was tweeting from the scene.

A rescue helicopter was called in and was photographed hovering above the crane and winching the unidentified worker to safety in an incredible rescue.

He was taken to hospital with only minor injuries, Kingston Police told CBC News.

The fire at a student housing apartment block, which was under construction, started about 2.30pm on Tuesday (8.30am today, NZ time), with the helicopter rescuing the stranded worker just before 4pm.

The cause of the blaze was not known, however it was feared the flames could spread to a nearby petrol station.

Residents within 500 metres of the building were evacuated as a precaution.

-Fairfax News Australia

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