Man airlifted to hospital after falling down abandoned missile silo

Rescue helicopter. courtesy photo the LACFD Air Operations.

A man who fell 40 feet down an abandoned missile silo in a rugged area between Stevenson Ranch and Chatsworth Sunday morning was taken to the hospital.

The incident happened at 3:43 a.m. Sunday, when officials at the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department received reports of a person falling 40 feet below ground at the abandoned LA-88 Nike Missile Base.

“The initial report was of one injured person 40 feet below grade and 100 feet lateral from access point,” Brian Humphrey, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, wrote in a report of the incident.

Humphrey noted the response was jointly handled by the city and county fire departments.

Responding firefighters were directed to go to Oat Mountain Way near Browns Canyon Road and, specifically, to a “confined space rescue at abandoned military facility” there.

Several rescue teams were dispatched to the site including a county rescue helicopter and the county’s Urban Search and Rescue team.

“This was a man reported to be trespassing who fell down a silo,” Vanessa Lozano, spokeswoman for the L.A. County Fire Department, said Monday.

The missile silo was reportedly one of 16 Nike sites in Los Angeles County, referred to as LA-88 Nike Missile Base, an abandoned anti-ballistic missile base.

It was was one of the few dozen Nike missile bases placed around Los Angeles to protect civilians and military sites from Soviet attack.  It was in operation from 1957 to 1974.

It is now owned by the California Civilian Conservation Corps.  Although abandoned, much of it remains intact. Many buildings are still standing and one of the covers of the missle silo is opened.

The site is gated, but remains popular with urban explorers.

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