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Woman trapped for hours beneath collapsed snow-laden canopy

Wednesday, February 24th 2021, 5:20 pm - The woman was hospitalized in a stable condition with injuries to her head and legs.

A U.S. woman was rescued alive after spending 10 hours trapped beneath a canopy that had collapsed due to the weight of heavy snow.

The woman, in her 50s, was shovelling snow Monday night around the canopy behind her home in the Illinois town of Schiller Park, near Chicago, when the collapse happened. She was found by a family member who called 911.

“The way the collapse came down, it pinned her legs, keeping her body to the back door, which created a space for our paramedics to get in and start treatment right away,” Fire Chief Mike Cesaretti told broadcaster WGN9.

The woman was taken to hospital with injuries to her head and legs, and was described as being in a stable condition.

Heavy snow has led to several roof and collapses in Illinois in recent days. In Chicago itself, a similarly snow-laden canopy collapsed on two men, killing one and seriously injuring another, leaving him comatose for three days.

Cesaretti warned people to be mindful of the load of snow on roofs and canopies. A combination of heavy past snow and, in areas like Ontario where warming temperatures are on the rise, can increase the risk.

“Not all collapses give warning,” Cesaretti said. “They could happen in an instant. For a safety message, be aware of what’s over your head in these conditions.”

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