California teen rescued after falling in sewage pipe

03 April, 2018, 05:11 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Missing boy who fell into Los Angeles sewer found alive

A 13-year-old boy who fell into a sewer pipe during a family Easter celebration at Los Angeles' Griffith Park has been found alive after a methodical 12-hour search of the complex drainage system.

Making the search hard, officials said, was a "maze of pipes" that prevented them from easily identifying exactly where Jesse could be stuck. "As you can imagine, we are overwhelmed with joy".

Jesse then fell into a drainage pipe, which was full of running water.

The search stretched into Monday morning in the area where investigators believe Hernandez may have been playing with other children when he fell through the roof of a 20-foot concrete building into a drainage sewage system below. The environment is "extremely risky and toxic", Scott said.

Officials say they searched about an area of about 2,400ft and sent a camera attached to a flotation device into the sewage pipe, which contains liquid flowing at around 15mph (24km/h).

Missing boy who fell into Los Angeles sewer found alive

Apart from the fire and the police department, the Department of Sanitation was also working at the scene to see if there were any chambers within the pipe systems where Hernandez might be stuck. Scott said responders used floating cameras from third-party vendors to spot Jesse.

One camera crawled along the bottom of pipes and transmitted images to crews nearby.

A wooden plank that he was standing on broke, plunging the teenager 25ft down and into the pipe, the fire department said.

A sanitation crew was opening up a maintenance hatch near where the 134 Freeway goes under the 5 Freeway to put in a camera as part of the search, "and that's where we located Jesse Hernandez alive and talking", Scott said. That's where Jesse was found. Fire-rescue team members provided immediate medical aid and transported the boy to a hospital in serious condition. "The Mayor's Crisis Response Team was also at the command post throughout the night providing welcomed support to the family".

The fire department noted the "excellent teamwork" among agencies - which include fire and its urban search and rescue, police, highway patrol, city recreation and parks, park rangers, the water and power department, and experts from the sanitation, engineering and contract administration bureaus.

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