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Woman critically injured in fall down Hilo bridge embankment

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Hawaii County fire personnel Tuesday rescued a woman in her 50s who was critically injured after falling down an embankment near the Wainaku Bridge in Hilo, a fire official said.

The woman had landed 40 feet below the bridge on rocks near the river’s edge.

The Fire Department got the call at 3:05 p.m. Tuesday. The first unit was on scene at 3:15 p.m. and found the woman unconscious and in critical condition, according to a battalion chief and a Fire Department news release.

Three firefighters had to rappel down a steep embankment to the woman, stabilize her and place her in a rescue basket.

Because of power lines, trees and the steep terrain, the firefighters hoisted the woman up to the bridge using a ladder truck and a high-angle retrieval system rather than a helicopter.

The woman was apparently alone when she fell, the battalion chief said.

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