A special team of firefighters was called in to rescue a man who fell about 10 metres from a cliff on Mount Royal in Montreal. (Alain Béland/Radio-Canada)

Man falls off mountain in the heart of Montreal

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Montrealers may have been shocked to learn that a man was critically injured after falling off Mount Royal in the heart of the city last night. Then again, maybe they weren’t because another man fell to his death in almost the same spot in July 2017.

Mount Royal is a place where many families go for picnics in summer and where people go skating, skiing, snow-shoeing, jobbing or cycling. Part of it is beautifully landscaped and other parts are natural and forested. There are stairs, a road around the mountain and some pathways. But there are cliffs and dangers as well.

The area where the man fell is steep, rocky, unlit and tree-covered. (Radio-Canada)

Difficult rescue required special team

At about 11:30 p.m. on May 8, 2018, a passerby spotted a man falling down the mountain and called emergency services. The terrain was difficult and a specialized team of firefighters was called in rescue him. Members anchored themselves to trees and rappelled down, then placed the unconscious man in a basket stretcher. The operation took about 40 minutes.

The man, in his 20s had fallen about 10 metres and suffered serious head and back injuries. He was taken to hospital where remains in critical condition.

Signs in the area warn against walking down this part of the mountain. (Radio-Canada)

Sign warned of danger

There are danger signs in this area warning people who are sometimes tempted use it as a shortcut to get down the mountain. Last year, 38 year-old Shreyas Roy fell and died here. Roy was a pediatric surgeon from the United States who had come to work at a hospital for children in Montreal.

It’s not known why this most recent fall took place.

With files from CBC and Canadian Press

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