Toronto man dies after falling into Devil's Punchbowl in Hamilton

A 25-year-old man has died after falling into Hamilton's Devil's Punchbowl on Wednesday evening.

Paramedic supervisor said rope rescue would be too slow. Crews carried him out instead

(Nhl4Hamilton/Wikimedia Commons)

A 25-year-old Toronto man has died after falling into Devil's Punchbowl on Wednesday evening.

Emergency responders were called shortly before 9 p.m. to the conservation area, said Claudio Mostacci, public information officer with Hamilton Fire.

When crews arrived, the injured man was seen at the base of the gully, roughly 60 metres below the falls, he said. It is unclear from the report where he fell from, or how far he fell to get down there.

The man was trying to take some pictures when he fell, said Hamilton Police Staff Sgt. Greg Jackson.

When crews reached him, the man was found to be conscious but badly injured. Firefighters began preparing a high-angle rope rescue to pull him out.

A paramedic supervisor at the scene looked over the injured man and found he was deteriorating quickly, Mostacci said. The supervisor made the call to abandon the rope rescue and take the man out on foot.

'They had him out quick'

Typically, a rescue using ropes and a basket would be best in situations like this, Mostacci said. They keep the injured person stable and prevent them from being jostled about during the extraction.

But in this situation, a rope rescue might have taken 30 minutes to an hour longer to set up, he said. The paramedic supervisor said they didn't have that kind of time.

At 10:06 p.m., the decision was made to walk the man out on a stretcher.

"They had him out quick," Mostacci said. More people were called in and stationed along the pathway to help move the injured man quicker.

By 10:30 p.m., the man was in the back of an ambulance and headed towards the hospital with critical injuries.

Jackson said Thursday afternoon that the man had died from his injuries. His death has been ruled an accident.