Oxen end up in manure cellars

It was a dramatic rescue operation that ended just before midnight yesterday in Giske municipality outside Ålesund.

Three bulls fell through a broken hatch in the floor and straight into the manure cellar.

See pictures of the rescue operation further down in the story.

– A difficult operation

Rescuers, farmers and neighbors spent over 6 hours getting the animals back to the surface.

According to Geir Olav Larsen, each of the bulls weighed somewhere between 500 and 600 kilos.

DIRTY JOB: Geir Olav Larsen had control over the animals in the manure cellar while the fire brigade tried to find a solution to get them out. Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

He was one of those who were in the basement to contribute to the rescue work.

Large animals and small openings did not make the work easier for the rescue crew.

– We tried to get them out in different ways. We tried to lift them out, it quickly became apparent that it would not work. After a while we saw that we could get them out via a hatch on the side of the manure cellar.

Acting fire chief, Arne Sigurd Hansen, told TV 2 on Thursday evening while the rescue operation was still ongoing.

– So it is a difficult operation with three large animals.

Crews at the site first tried to hoist the animals up the same hatch they fell down using hoisting equipment and muscle power.

It quickly became clear that this did not work.

The farmers lined up

Rescue crews from the fire service and the police were on the scene after half an hour. Nevertheless, it took almost five hours before the first ox got out of the cellar.

It could have taken even longer if local farmers and neighbors had not flocked to help.

– The gardeners in the area here have been a great resource for us, said Hansen.

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up.  In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch.  Photo: Martin Giskegjerde/ TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up. In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch. Photo: Martin Giskegjerde/ TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up.  In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch.  Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up. In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch. Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up.  In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch.  Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up. In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch. Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up.  In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch.  Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up. In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch. Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up.  In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch.  Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up. In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch. Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up.  In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch.  Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up. In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch. Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up.  In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch.  Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up. In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch. Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up.  In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch.  Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

IN FULL SWING: Even though the rescue work took many hours, the rescue team never gave up. In the end, all three bulls came out of it without a scratch. Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

– An enormous effort has been put in by local farmers and fire crews. So it shouldn’t be on it.

After six long and arduous hours, farmer Gunnar Røsvik could finally lower his shoulders.

Could finally breathe easy

All three animals had been retrieved from the manure cellar. Uninjured, but perhaps a little in shock at the experience they had been through.

– It’s nice when you see how it turned out in the end. But it looked scary when they were down in the manure cellar and someone had a problem getting them out, he told TV 2 last night.

EXTRA COZY: Even the fire brigade had to pay a little extra attention to the unfortunate salvage objects.  Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

EXTRA COZY: Even the fire brigade had to pay a little extra attention to the unfortunate salvage objects. Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

It was a simple farmer who finally got the bulls back into the barn.

– I am very grateful for the help I have received. Incredibly grateful. It was impressive to see the work that was done.

And it wasn’t just the problem of getting the animals out that made the operation difficult.

Staying in a manure cellar with three animals that together have a weight of over 1,500 kilos, combined with gases and other elements, made it a dangerous operation.

FLYING TIME: After a tiring day, the bulls were finally back in the wet surroundings of the barn.  This time in a different booth.  Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

FLYING TIME: After a tiring day, the bulls were finally back in the wet surroundings of the barn. This time in a different booth. Photo: Martin Giskegjerde / TV2

– To put it simply, it’s a crap job. It’s tough for people to stand like that. There is gas and other things, so it can be scary. In addition, there are large, heavy animals. If you get caught or they push you, it only happens once.

But the evening was not over for Røsvik, even though the bulls had come up again in the daylight.

If you have been in the fertilizer cellar for many hours, you may deserve a little extra care.

– They must have a little bath. Betting on them being clean and nice, concluded Røsvik to TV 2 just before midnight yesterday.

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