NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Offbeat

August 14, 2009

Return to sender: 2 Austrians rescued from mailbox

VIENNA (AP) — Austrian authorities aren't about to give these pranks their stamp of approval.

Frustrated officials say rescuers have been deployed twice this week to break open large mailboxes after two children locked themselves inside in separate incidents.

Firefighters in the westernmost province of Vorarlberg say the latest incident occurred Thursday evening in the village of Schwarzach, where an 8-year-old boy climbed inside a mailbox and couldn't get out.

Postal officials weren't able to find the key, so rescuers used welding torches and bolt cutters to open the box and free the child. He was uninjured.

Authorities say an almost identical incident happened Monday in nearby Feldkirch, where a 4-year-old boy locked himself inside a mailbox.

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