NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - An elderly World War II veteran who had been trapped in a partially collapsed house in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria hit the island has been rescued.
A relief team member from New York City, James O'Connell, reached out to Fox 5 News regarding 93-year-old Rosario Mariano after not getting any assistance from public officials. Rosario was bed-ridden and his family was concerned that the rest of the home could collapse with him inside.
O'Connell tried desperately to get local authorities to rescue Mariano. Eventually, O'Connell drove to a National Guard base and convinced soldiers to help. The Department of Defense Police brought Mariano via ambulance to a secure facility. He could soon be transferred to the Veterans Affairs hospital in San Juan.
O'Connell said he worked with the mayor of Corozal to reunite Mariano with his son.
Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 hurricane, hit Puerto Rico on September 20. The storm knocked out power across the entire island. Downed trees and storm debris blocked many roads. Clean water also remains an issue.