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Teen hospitalized after fall in West Duluth quarry

Members of the Duluth Fire Department look over a scene at a rock quarry in West Duluth after performing a high-angle rescue of a teenager who fell from the rock wall Wednesday afternoon. Clint Austin /

A 15-year-old Duluth boy was in fair condition Wednesday evening at a local hospital after falling from a ledge in West Duluth.

Zach Bartl, 14, said he and Nathan Greene, both freshmen at Denfeld High School, had been sitting in an area high above 57th Ave. W., when they decided to leave. The area is known by rock and ice climbers as "Casket Quarry."

"That's when it went bad,'' Bartl said. He said Greene jumped about 6 feet down to a ledge. Bartl said his friend then lost his balance and fell backwards. He couldn't see how Greene landed but he estimated that his companion fell 25 to 30 feet.

"I tried to bring him down, but his side hurt and I didn't want to move him or hurt him some more, so I called 911,'' Bartl said. "He talked to me the whole time. He said his rib was broken."

Duluth Assistant Fire Chief Richard Mattson said the call for a rescue came in at 2:55 p.m. and firefighters were on the scene by 3 p.m. Fifteen firefighters, including three in training, responded, Mattson said.

Bartl said Greene had climbed in the area on three other occasions. Bartl said it was his first trip there and he had no intention of going back.

Greene was transported by Gold Cross ambulance to St. Mary's Medical Center, where he remained Wednesday night in its intensive care unit.