13-year-old boy found after 12 hours stuck in sewer pipe

Authorities launched a frantic search for a 13-year-old boy who witnesses say fell into a drainage ditch in an abandoned maintenance building at Griffith Park

Frantic search for 13 year-old teen who fell into a drainage ditch

Los Angeles firefighters search for Jesse Hernandez, 13, who apparently fell down a drainage pipe in Griffith Park on Sunday, April 1, 2018. They had played soccer together before separating for family Easter egg hunts, he said. According to fire officials, the pipe flows into the L.A. River. His cousins called after him, but heard only their echoes in response.

The boy spent at least 12 hours in the sewerage system before he was found. Rescuers managed to pull him out, and one of them gave him a cellphone to call his family.

"We called, sent text messages - it rings but it goes to voicemail", Barraza said.

The boy was identified as Jesse Hernandez, and fire officials asked the public for information on his whereabouts around 8 p.m.

Authorities launched a frantic search Sunday night for Hernandez involving more than 100 firefighters, urban search-and-rescue crews and swift-water rescuers, the publication reported. The system includes water from the Los Angeles River but can also trap gases, making the search risky for rescue teams. At some points, the water is two feet deep and moves at a 15-mph clip, ABC News reported. The closed storm drain system beneath the park, which runs to the Los Angeles River, consists of miles of pipes containing varying levels of water moving at up to 15 mph - making it too unsafe for rescuers to enter.

Officials with the Department of Sanitation were reviewing the maps to determine if there are any areas Hernandez could be stuck.

Scott said sanitation department workers along with first responders conducted a massive overnight search.

To find Jesse, rescuers turned to technology, hoping sophisticated waterproof cameras used to inspect the city's drainage system would provide a glimpse of the missing boy.

At nightfall, 25 people at the scene held hands and bowed their heads in prayer.

Television news footage showed dozens of firefighters in climbing gear and helmets standing over a hole in the ground, the whole area brightened by floodlights.

Rescuers opening a manhole to place a closed-circuit camera for the search found Hernandez "alive and talking", fire officials said.

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