A man who became wedged deep inside a narrow storm drain in Temecula was extricated Tuesday following an hours-long rescue operation mounted by firefighters.

The man, whose name was not released, was discovered about 1 a.m. about 270 feet inside the tunnel in the 31000 block of Hickory Place, near Aspen Way, according to the Riverside County Fire Department. There was no immediate word on how or why he got into the drain.

A half-dozen engine crews and three truck companies, as well as a hazardous material unit, were sent to the location and initiated attempts to pull the man out of the 18-inch diameter passage, but he was uncooperative for unspecified reasons, and personnel had to switch strategies, according to the fire department.

The ensuing technical rescue using industrial equipment, and relying on assistance from the Eastern Municipal Water District and the Temecula Department of Public Works, succeeded in removing him from the drain shortly after 9 a.m., according to the fire department.

He was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar for treatment of what were described as moderate injuries.

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