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Fla. woman rescued after dangling from railroad bridge was trespassing, officials say

(CBS) FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A 55-year-old Florida woman was leftdangling from a railroad bridge in Fort LauderdaleSaturday after officials say she attempted to cross the bridge as it began opening.

The woman was fortunately rescued safely after nearly an hour, but now city officials say she could be in big trouble for trespassing, reports CBS Miami.

Authorities began receiving calls around 10:45 a.m. Saturday reporting a woman was hanging from the bridge which was in the upright position - 22 feet above the railroad tracks.

Firefighters responded to the scene and advised the woman of rescue plans. A 24-foot ladder was deployed and the woman was rescued as a crowd of spectators watched.

Matt Little, a spokesperson for the City of Fort Lauderdale, released a statement following the incident saying the city is thankful the woman survived but "the decision to trespass on private property was an unfortunate, poor choice that endangered the trespasser's life as well as the lives of the first responders."

"The decision to cross the clearly marked railroad bridge should not be lauded. We hope the news reports about this incident will help to educate the public about the dangers of pedestrians attempting to cross railroad bridges. Public safety is the City's top priority," the statement continued.

Since the property is owned by Florida East Coast railway, the company would have to ask Fort Lauderdale Police to press charges, Little says, according to the paper. Such action has not taken place.

The woman, while frightened from the incident, was not injured, reports the station.

She told authorities she had participated in a breast cancer awareness walk earlier in the day. CBS This Morningreports some think it may have been a publicity stunt to gain attention for the cause.

  • Stephanie Slifer

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