Woman nearly killed after falling into garbage compactor

Garbage compactor 
By: Sanvi Rizvi 

A woman was nearly killed after falling into a garbage compactor in New York, according to fire officials.

A Chelsea woman had a broken arm after she fell headfirst through a garbage chute in her apartment and was trapped in the trash compactor inside the building, firefighters and neighbors said.

Emergency workers arrived at the scene on West 21st Street around 5:50 a.m. on Saturday. They found 30-year-old Margaret Baumer conscious with her feet dangling in the air, sources and residents said.

Baumer, who fell into the chute of the ground floor, was trapped in the hydraulic compactor for at least 45 minutes.

"She was being crushed," a Fire Department source said. "She was in a world of hurt."

Firefighters from Ladder 12, Rescue 1 and Engine 3 worked feverishly to free the mutilated limb, while Baumer shacked in agony.

It was not immediately clear how the freak accident happened, but a source said investigators suspect that alcohol may have played a role.

Neighbors said Baumer, a lawyer, had a friend from out of town at her house and she had come home late at night.

"We're not sure what happened, we just know that she ended up in the basement, in the compactor room," next-door neighbors said.

Another resident said she heard the woman's friend discuss how to free her trapped body.

"It does not seem so bad, we heard them say, 'How can we get her out?'” She heard her saying. "We did not open the door because we thought it was just a bunch of drunken people," the neighbor said.

A team of firefighters managed to unlock the compactor’s hydraulic piston and dismantled the machine.

"Her arm was just hanging from her body," a fire official said about the arm of the woman.

Emergency workers took Baumer to Bellevue Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition, sources said.