Bridge Rescue: Walker Trapped As Crossing Opens
A 55-year-old Florida woman was left dangling 22ft (6.7m) in the air when the railway bridge she was crossing opened.
Wanda Keating McGowan had been taking part in a charity walk to raise awareness of breast cancer when she walked onto the bridge over Fort Lauderdale's New River.
Witness Philip Glazebrook told NBC6 the bridge sounds a loud alarm before it rises to warn pedestrians, but it was not clear why the woman stayed put.
"This bridge is controlled from Tallahassee," he said.
"So she's stuck on the bridge and she's going up. The next thing is, she's stuck; straddled like Jesus Christ."
Pictures show the terrified woman wearing a pink T-shirt grasping onto the bridge with both hands as she is waiting to be rescued.
Witnesses say she somehow managed to remain calm despite having to wait 20 minutes to be brought down by firefighters with a 24ft (7.3m) ladder.
Other walkers taking part in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer charity walk gave relieved cheers as she returned to the ground.
Ms Gowan, who is not thought to have been injured, later praised her rescue team with a message of thanks on Facebook.
"To all the firemen and police officers. THANK YOU. YOU SAVED MY LIFE. ALL GOOD THINGS TO YOU," she wrote.