Firefighters rescue woman from upright railroad bridge

Woman held onto bridge over New River 22 feet above tracks, rescue crews say

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Firefighters helped rescue a woman who held onto a railroad bridge that began rising Saturday over the New River.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue crews responded at 10:44 a.m. Saturday to multiple 911 calls reporting a woman dangling from the railroad bridge crossing the New River. The bridge is located between Riverfront and the historic district.

WATCH: Cellphone video of woman on upright railroad bridge

The 55-year-old Dania Beach woman was crossing the bridge when it began opening. Officials said the woman held onto the bridge. The bridge was in the upright position when crews arrived.

Firefighters quickly advised the woman of rescue plans. The woman was hanging approximately 22 feet above the tracks when officials said firefighters deployed a 24 foot ladder to rescue her.

Witnesses said it took about 20 minutes for crews to safely rescue her.

The woman was frightened, but officials said she was not injured.

The woman, who wore pink, told firefighters that she had participated in a cancer walk earlier in the morning in Broward County called "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer."

It is not known why she was on the railroad bridge, as authorities said pedestrians are not allowed on the railroad bridge. The nearby Andrews Avenue bridge provides a pedestrian walkway.

Matt Little, a spokesperson from the City of Fort Lauderdale, said, "The decision to trespass on private property was an unfortunate, poor choice that endangered the trespasser's life as well as the lives of our first responders."

Little also said that they were very thankful the woman survived.

"We hope the news reports about this incident will help to educate the public about the dangers of pedestrians attempting to cross railroad bridges. Public safety is the City's top priority," Little said.

According to the City of Fort Lauderdale, the property owner does have the option to bring trespassing charges.

No additional information is available at this time.

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