Vongtau was rescued by a crew of firefighters on Sunday. He had fallen nearly 100 feet, suffering a broken arm, collapsed lung, and fractured skull before finding himself trapped in a crevice the width of a shoebox. A long-time NYC chief of rescue operations told the New York Times that he'd never seen a situation like Vongtau's. “I don’t know how he lasted,” he said.
Vongtau is now awake and talking to friends and family. And the story is still dim. Apparently he went out drinking on Friday. He was still awake at 7 a.m. Saturday—this guy!—and he left the 10th-floor dorm room he shared with a roommate to go upstairs for a breath of fresh air. At that point, someone pulled a fire alarm, causing chaos throughout the dorm at 80 Lafayette. When order was restored, Vongtau had disappeared. He didn't answer texts from his friends, who became concerned enough to alert campus security and later the NYPD.
(It's unclear how quickly NYU reacted to Vongtau's disappearance. Asher's roommate feels university officials didn't treat his concerns with enough urgency. I kind of blasted NYU on Monday by going off the roommate's story, but NYU, of course, says it did all it could. Who knows.)
Anyway, for the insane part: According to Vongtau's mother, Habiba, Asher couldn't shake the thought that he'd eventually have to pull a Aron Ralston, or cut off his own arm like the mountain climber portrayed by (NYU alum) James Franco in the movie 127 Hours.
From the New York Post:
“He thought, ‘Am I gonna have to do that?’ He thought about his family. He thought, ‘I’m not gonna give up.’ He just yelled for help as much as he could.”
The lucky teenager is grateful for the work of FDNY rescuers, who he likened to “Navy SEALS,’’ the mom added.
“He’s in great spirits because he knows he had no business getting out of that hole,” the student’s mom said.
“It was a miracle. It’s an incredible story, really.”
Lesson learned: Don't drink and go on the roof.
Unless you need to smoke a cigarette or something.
[H/T: NY Post]