A California woman plunged head-first into a filthy vault toilet at a national forest after dropping her phone in, then falling as she tried to retrieve it.
The unidentified woman lost her handset while visiting Mount Walker in Washington Tuesday during a trip to the Olympic National Forest.
She then decided to fashion a makeshift harness out of a dog leash to try lowering herself into the toilet, only for it to collapse under her weight – and send her flying head-first into the hole filled with human waste.
After 20 minutes, the woman managed to retrieve her device, then used it to call 911 to summon help.
The stomach-churning incident was detailed in a Facebook post by the Brinnon Fire Department, with two firefighters snapped posing outside the toilets in the wake of the rescue.
Vault toilets are outdoor bathroom facilities housed in permanent structures, which don’t flush or utilize water, and are sometimes referred to as pit toilets due to the underground tank that holds the waste.
The waste is removed when a truck comes to pump it out and transport it to a water treatment facility.
Meanwhile, rescue crews were eventually able to free the woman from the toilet after making a ‘cribbing platform’ that was lowered down for the woman to stand on.
After being pulled to safety, she was then washed down and given a Tyvek hazmat suit to wear, according to the Brinnon Fire Department.
The woman told rescue crews that she was uninjured, and refused medical attention despite being strongly encouraged to after being exposed to human waste, which can cause infections.
‘The patient was extremely fortunate not to be overcome by toxic gases or sustain injury,’ the Brinnon Fire Department said.
The woman thanked the first responders and continued on her journey back to California, the Facebook post went on to say.
In 2013, an elderly man similarly plummeted five feet into a toilet pit filled with human waste before he was rescued more than an hour later, authorities said at the time.
The unidentified man was inappropriately standing atop one of the toilets at Carters Lake in northwest Georgia when he slipped and fell in, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.
The man landed inside the refuse pit where the waste is collected from the above toilets before allowed to naturally decompose, park officials said.
Lisa Parker, a spokeswoman for the US Army Corps of Engineers, says the man was trapped for about 70 minutes before help arrived.
‘We’ve had these type of toilet facilities for 10 to 15 years, and he just mis-used the toilet, unfortunately,’ she told the Dalton Daily Citizen.
She described him as ‘covered in mess and scraped up.’
Exposure to such human waste can result in cholera and typhoid fever if left untreated.