Man trapped inside train more than 12 hours had snuck aboard in Eagle Pass, firefighters say

San Antonio firefighters say a man who had spent more than 12 hours trapped inside a freight train car on the city’s Southwest side had secretly boarded the train in Eagle Pass.

Fire crews first found out about him after they responded to a call early Tuesday morning at a Union Pacific rail yard near the 1700 block of Quintana Road.

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“The rail guy, this morning, about 4:45 or so had heard him screaming and crying inside. So they started investigating,” said Battalion Chief Russell Johnson with SAFD.

Johnson says his crews noticed the man inside a small crawl space within the train car, trapped by huge metal coils that had come crashing down on him. He said each of the coils weighs about 4,000 pounds.

“He sits in their hiding and when they were loading cars, apparently somehow the load shifted and caught his foot in between two coils,” Johnson said.

Firefighters had to bring out their heavy equipment, including a ladder truck, to get the man out.

They spent more than an hour working on rescuing him.

“Then we put him in a basket and we lifted him up out of the truck,” Johnson said.

The man, who is believed to be from Guatemala, was taken to a hospital by ambulance for treatment of his foot injuries.

Johnson said he is expected to be OK.

He said the car in which the man was trapped had been at the rail yard since about 5 p.m. Monday, so it possible he was stuck there for more than 12 hours.