Fire crews at the scene. Picture: KTLA
Fire crews at the scene. Picture: KTLA

Teen boy plunges down sewage pipe

A TEENAGE boy who fell 10 metres down a sewage pipe in a Los Angeles park was found alive overnight after a 13-hour search.

Jesse Hernandez, 13, and his cousins were jumping on wooden planks atop an abandoned maintenance building in Griffith Park, when one broke, sending him tumbling down a two-metre-wide drainage pipe, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The boy was found a mile east of where he fell and was "alive and talking," Fire Captain Erik Scott told NBC Los Angeles.

Emergency services work at the site where a teenage boy fell down a sewage pipe. Picture: KTLA
Emergency services work at the site where a teenage boy fell down a sewage pipe. Picture: KTLA

More than 100 firefighters and search and rescue crews by air and on the ground had started looking for the boy on Sunday afternoon. The extensive search continued overnight and into Monday, reports the New York Post.

Rescuers couldn't enter the drainage area themselves because of hazardous materials and sent a camera on a boogie-board-like flotation device 300 feet down the pipe. They also set up camp at different exits, hoping the teen would come through.

"That place is a maze," said Los Angeles Police Sgt. Bruno La Hoz.

Jesse Hernandez was celebrating Easter with his family when the accident occurred. Picture: Facebook
Jesse Hernandez was celebrating Easter with his family when the accident occurred. Picture: Facebook

Gusts of water in the pipe run at up to 25km per hour and feed directly into the Los Angeles River.

Sanitation workers had opened up an access point to place a camera in the pipe and saw the boy, Capt. Scott said.

Fire-rescue teams rushed to attend to the boy and gave him a cellphone so he could talk to his parents, who were "overwhelmed with joy."

Spending Easter in Griffith Park is a tradition for the Hernandez family and over 20 members were present on Sunday, leading a prayer circle after nightfall when the boy still hadn't been found.

The incident happened at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Picture: KTLA
The incident happened at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Picture: KTLA

 

This story was originally published in the New York Post and is reprinted with permission.



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