First-responders from several agencies spent about an hour freeing the teen’s arm after it got stuck in a conveyor lift Sunday afternoon at Raging Buffalo Snowboard Park and Ski Area, located at 19N475 Illinois Highway 31 in Algonquin.
The injured employee, who has not been named, was found by a co-worker in a pit at the top of a ski hill, where the conveyor lift is located, authorities said. The injured man was conscious at the time he was found. Officials did not give any indication of his condition.
It took emergency crews about an hour to cut through the lift itself and extricate the victim, who was then immediately airlifted to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, said Peter Van Dorpe, assistant fire chief of the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District.
Rhonda Burke, spokeswoman for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said investigators will "look to see if there were any violations of safety in the incident.”
The investigation, which could take up to six months, will involve interviews with employees, inspections of the machinery and a determination of whether the employee was properly trained to work on the equipment.
Inspectors also will look at whether the equipment was designed with a lock-out mechanism that would prevent the machine from powering on while being serviced, said Burke.
Burke said the facility is allowed to be open during the inspection, though the park was closed today.
The privately operated business, owned by Keith Duck, is located in part of the Kane County Forest Preserve. Duck could not be reached for comment.
The extra alarm call resulted in response from over 30 emergency personnel, four engines, one truck, two squads and two ambulances to the scene.
The Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District received assistance from Carpentersville, Crystal Lake, Huntley, Fox River Grove, East Dundee, Wauconda, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Nunda Township and Cary fire departments.