A man who was allegedly planning to rob a bank in Rome was rescued from a tunnel he was excavating, according to a report from The Guardian.
Firefighters worked for eight hours to rescue the man from a six-meter-deep hole on Thursday after part of a road on Via Innocenzo XI collapsed near the Vatican, the outlet further said.
After receiving a call from one of the four alleged gang members who had successfully escaped the collapsed tunnel on Thursday morning, emergency services were informed.
While the rescuers were carrying out the difficult task of digging a parallel hole to reach the man, a voice was heard calling out, “Help, I beg you to get me out,” The Guardian reported quoting local media.
The man was given liquid meals and an oxygen cylinder to assist him in breathing. He was eventually taken out alive to a prolonged round of applause from the enormous audience that had gathered to see. According to the police, when he was carried to the hospital, he had serious but non-life-threatening wounds.
The four other accused gang members, who had also all been arrested, and the man from Rome both had prior robbery convictions, the police told local media.
The tunnel’s beginning was beneath a closed store, and according to the police, they were excavating through it to get to a local bank’s vault.
To take advantage of the bank being closed and Rome being mostly vacant, they allegedly dug a little bit each day so they could pull off their heist on Ferragosto, an Italian festival comparable to Christmas.