A YOUNG boy was at the centre of a modern-day bank heist when firies had to cut him free after he became trapped in an old bank safe on the weekend.
Paramedics say a 12-year-old boy was trapped in the steel safe for close to two hours when his brother 'shut the vault on him' just before midday on Saturday.
Emergency services stopped short of calling in an expert locksmith and instead cut the hinges on the thick metal door.
A hole was made in the outside brick wall so the boy could have access to air and water could be passed to him.
The old safe was once part of a bank but the Brisbane St building is now used as a church.
Three fire crews and police worked to free the boy in an emotional reunion with his family.
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service's Rohan Wilschefski said it was a delicate rescue operation.
"(We were) cutting the hinges, cutting the door open and trying to gain access through the sides to free the boy," he said.
"Any flame or anything like that is going to light the building up.
"The thing that has worked in his favour is the space was so large, that it's held enough oxygen for him to keep breathing.
"We cut through the hinges to pull the door out. While we were working on cutting through the hinges, we also wanted to work on cutting through the side of the safe so we could get some extra air and some water in."
The boy was taken to Ipswich Hospital for observation.