Boy found alive hours after plunging into drainage pipe

Boy found alive hours after plunging into drainage pipe

The pipe was too unsafe for rescuers to enter, authorities said, so they set up at different drainage areas in hopes of finding where the boy would be flushed out.

"We also feel guilty", he said.

After that, Hernandez went through decontamination before being taken a hospital.

Los Angeles Police Sgt. Bruno La Hoz said that the system was a giant maze and admitted they were not sure where the drain pipe leads.

Thirteen-year-old Jesse Hernandez tells KNBC-TV he was exhausted and a bit scraped up - but otherwise OK - after his ordeal.

"From start to finish, this was an unprecedented team effort", the fire department said. The boy was immediately given a phone to call his parents.

The teenager had been celebrating Easter with family at Griffith Park in Los Angeles when he fell into the drain and was swept into the series of interconnecting sewage pipes.


Rescuers are searching for a 13-year-old boy believed to have fallen into a drainage ditch that feeds into the LA river on Sunday. "This was were Jesse was found alert and talking", the fire department statement said. Hernandez reportedly made his way inside a fenced maintenance building and was jumping on wooden planks when one gave way plunging him inside a 42 inch pipe. The flow of sewage water, which is filled with toxic and risky waste and materials coming from the city, moves at around 15 miles per hour.

Crews are expected to search through the night.

Rescuers and municipal officials worked to analyze the pipe system.

Cameras used to inspect pipes for fix were employed as part of the rescue effort, the fire department said. Such cameras are regularly used to inspect pipes for fix.

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.

In order to find the boy, officials mounted a camera to a flotation device that had a rope attached and sent it 300 feet down the sewage pipe, the station said. "The number of pipes providing different travel paths required a systematic approach to ensure each was searched", said Margaret Stewart, another fire department press information officer.

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