TNT Crane started setting up the Liebherr crane at around 10 a.m. Thursday and by 3:30 they were able to pull the rig out of the river.
Late Thursday afternoon the workers were working on separating the boom from the base, which was expected to take several hours.
The CZM EX125 tracked drilling rig ended up mired in the river after a portion of the bank collapsed on Wednesday.
The driver escaped without injury, but the rig is so large that no equipment was available locally to pull it out of the river.
Waco police Officer Garen Bynum said the driver got too close to the edge of the river bank, got onto some railroad ties that shifted and ended up down the bank in the water.
The company that owns the rig will be held responsible for the cleanup and for any damages, Waco city spokesman Larry Holze said.
Waco Fire Battalion Chief Brooks Tucker described the scene Thursday afternoon.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s insane, a lot of people, a lot of chiefs, but it’s for the safety so you got a lot of people and organizations working form a common goal. It’s a slow process but necessary to keep everyone safe,” Tucker said.
The company, ATS Drilling of Fort Worth, had no comment.
By Erin Zeller and Ke’Sha Lopez
(Crystal Rosado contributed to this story)