Boy who fell into sewer pipe found alive

Aaron Brown
April 3, 2018

"It's with happy hearts that all Los Angeles City agencies are able to state that we have found Jesse Hernandez", Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Erik Scott said at a news conference about 5:30 a.m. Monday. He fell into a sewage system that led to the L.A. River. He was given a cell phone so he could speak with his parents, whom Scott described as "overwhelmed" with joy. Cameras were used to look into the pipes, where the boy was located.

"From start to finish, this was an unprecedented team effort", the fire department said. Jesse was given immediate medical attention before he was taken to a hospital for a full evaluation, and to be reunited with his family.

Rescuers searched for more than 12 hours after Hernandez fell about 25 feet into a 4-foot diameter pipe while playing on top of a Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation structure in Griffith Park on Sunday.

The camera showed crews a feed of Jesse, "alive and talking", according to Los Angeles CW affiliate KTLA.

"Our Crisis Response Team was deployed to provide support to the family throughout the night as they waited for news of Jesse", Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement after the boy was found. "Thank you to the Hernandez family for your patience and optimism during this harrowing experience".

Sunday afternoon had been filled with soccer and volleyball and food, but at some point just before the Easter egg hunt, Jesse Hernandez and his cousins slipped away from their family's annual gathering to do some exploring on their own.

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Rescuers finally found Jesse after seeing images of handprints on a sewage pipe.

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

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman David Ortiz initially said rescuers couldn't enter the drainage area themselves because of the hazardous environment.

Rescuers dropped cameras that could float along the bottom of pipes where Hernandez fell.

Crews went to the location and found a maintenance hole to access the pipe, the official said. "I still can't believe it", Dominique Barraza, 16, a family friend, said Sunday.

"He's too young. It's just insane".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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