A man fell through a metal grate and down a concrete shaft in Arlington Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The middle-aged man was walking down Wakefield Street near his office in Ballston at around 10:45 a.m. when the grate collapsed underneath him, Arlington County Fire Capt. Bill Shelton said. The man fell 15 feet down a parking garage ventilator shaft before hitting the concrete.

The fire department was able to help the man out of the shaft with a ladder, ropes, and a basket stretcher. He was taken to Fairfax Inova hospital “conscious, awake and alert,” Shelton said.

Engineers from the building behind the vent were on the scene and planned to repair the vent, Shelton added, and also said they would check on other grates in the area.