Latest in string of rescues from Vancouver embankment raises concerns

Vancouver firefighters were called to conduct a high-angle rescue Friday after a man fell down a steep embankment near Commercial-Broadway station.

Rescuers had to rappel down about 45 metres (150 feet) to the bottom of the Grandview Cut, a human-made ravine that serves as a right of way for CN Rail and the SkyTrain.

It’s also known as a hangout and dumping ground.

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“I have seen people cutting the fence, climbing the fence, going through the fence, throwing things over the fence, camping on the other side of the fence, climbing the trees, people are there all the time,” said Laura Christensen, a Vancouver Park Board Commissioner who lives across the street.

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“It’s incredibly dangerous, it’s pretty much a sheer drop down to the bottom.”

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Christensen said there have been numerous incidents at the site, and that firefighters are called to conduct a rescue every four to six months.

Vancouver Fire Rescue Services Batallion Chief Randy Boruck confirmed his crews know the area well.

“This isn’t the first time they’ve been to this location, so they knew their points where they would attach and had a game plan really quick,” he said.

“(The) tech rescue crew had stated they had been here for an incident very similar roughly six months ago in this spot — they’ve also been on the other side which is a steep embankment to a lesser extent, where they go regularly as well.”

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Firefighters rescue two people from popular North Shore trail

Borkuck said the fire department has raised concerns about the fences to both Vancouver police and CN police.

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The person who fell down the embankment was taken to hospital with unspecified injuries.

Christensen said she hopes the latest accident in the cut will prompt better security on the fence.

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