Crews rescue plumber who became unconscious at SFO catering facility

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A plumber is missing after some kind of an underground explosion that released carbon dioxide at a catering facility at SFO. (KGO-TV)

Hazmat teams have found a plumber who they now say became unconscious due to fumes from a cutting device while he was working at a catering facility at SFO.

Crews are wrapping up their search. They found the missing man around 5:30 p.m. He is said to be injured but we don't know the extent of his injuries.

Another plumber managed to escape unharmed.

Firefighters used hazmat gear to search for the missing man, who was in an underground tunnel system at the facility. They say that the man was crawling through the tunnels on his own when crews found him.



Officials say two plumbers were working on an underground plumbing issue at Gate Gourmet, which caters airline food for flights at SFO.

They were cutting concrete when fumes were released from the cutting device they were using. Officials initially thought the fumes were from a ruptured CO2 line.

One of the men passed out and his partner tried to drag him out. But given the tight quarters, he couldn't get him all the way out.

The second plumber came out and called 911.

SFO officials say out of an abundance of caution, they initiated a huge response -- 12 fire trucks, a hazmat team and police. About two hours into their search, they found him and he was transported to the hospital.


Officials tell ABC7 News that the air quality underground is safe. No evacuation orders were issued or necessary.

The incident is not impacting any flights at SFO.

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