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Video: Horse Leaving Riverside Taco Bell Falls Into Underground Vault

(Via Facebook/City of Riverside Fire Department)
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A horse and its owner were leaving a Riverside Taco Bell on Saturday when the animal fell into an underground vault, reports The Press Enterprise. The vault cover collapsed when the horse stepped on it, sending the animal down a 5-foot-deep hole.

The incident happened by the 5600 block of Arlington Avenue in Riverside at about 9 p.m.

As for why the vault cover collapsed, Battalion Chief Jeff DeLaurie of the Riverside Fire Department told the Press Enterprise that it wasn't prepared to handle the weight. "I don’t think it was designed—or anyone would’ve expected—that a horse would be walking there, in that part of the city," said DeLaurie.

A crane was brought in to retrieve the horse, but at some point the animal was able to jump out of the hole on its own (with a bit of help from firefighters).

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A vet on the scene said that the horse had only suffered lacerations on its legs, and added that it should heal from the injuries, reports NBC 4.

Also of note, the Riverside Fire Department's very own horse rescue team—the Horse Animal Rescue Team (H.A.R.T)—was at the scene to assist. For those unfamiliar with Riverside, there are several ranches out in the area, thus necessitating such a rescue team. According to City News Service, H.A.R.T was established in 2015. Riverside Fire Department Capt. Tyler Reynolds told CNS that there's a “low frequency” of cases in which large animals need assistance in the area, but still, these instances require a specialized group of experts. And apparently anything could happen with horses. Reynolds said that “technical rescues" include cases of "overturned horse trailers, horses trapped in quicksand, swimming pools, trenches, wells, septic tanks, hillsides or steep terrain in which the animal is unable to free itself.”

We're glad that H.A.R.T is around for those tricky scenarios, and that our horse-of-note will be OK. Here's a video of the rescue posted to the Riverside Fire Department's Facebook page: