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Man injured when crane falls into water

A 42-year-old man was trapped in 20 feet of water Saturday morning, pinned underneath a crane that he was atop when it fell into a water-filled ditch, authorities say.

About 20 seconds after the accident, however, the man managed to free himself from the crane and float to the surface.

"We don't know how he made it out," said district Fire Chief Debbie Fahlman, "but 20 seconds later the workers there said he popped up to the surface."

The man, whose name was not released by Pasco Fire-Rescue, was flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa in critical condition.

Fahlman said the man was conscious when he emerged from underneath the crane and was pulled from the water by co-workers.

His right lower leg was fractured, and he may have internal and spinal injuries, she said.

The accident occurred shortly after 9 a.m. at Plaza Material Corp. on Yonkers Boulevard, Fahlman said.

Dirt started to give way from underneath the crane's tires, toppling it into the water-filled ditch.