CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A machine used to fabricate windows tried to swallow up a maintenance man Tuesday, but Chicago firefighters pried him loose.

The man was performing maintenance at about 4 p.m. on the hydraulic machine when the jaws of the 10-foot by 5-foot machine closed on him in the Crystal Glass factory, on the 1300 block of West 35th Street.

“It looks as though they thought the machine would shut off, but somehow it still moved,” said Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford, who said fire personnel also had to overcome a language barrier.

Most of the plant’s employees speak only Chinese. Langford said that complicated efforts to determine how the machine worked and what could be done to extricate him.

Paramedics worried that compression injuries would kill the man, but he survived extrication with specialized hurst “Jaws of Life” tools, and was transported in serious condition to Stroger Hospital.