A missing 13-year-old boy who fell into a Los Angeles drain pipe was found alive inside the city’s sewer system early Monday.
Sanitation workers discovered the missing Jesse Hernandez in a four-foot sewer pipe around 5 a.m. local time, ending a frantic 12-hour search, officials said. The teen was just a mile away from where he fell through a piece of wood and into the drain pipe at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
The workers were placing a surveillance camera in a maintenance hatch as rescue teams scoured miles of pipe when they found him.
“Sanitation workers were an absolutely instrumental part of this successful outcome,” said a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman at the scene. Jesse was conscious at the time and taken to a nearby hospital. “He’s also going to undergo decontamination in addition to additional medical aid,” the fire spokesman said. Jesse and a group of other boys were playing in a maintenance shed close to the city’s Griffith Park. One of the kids reportedly jumped on a plank, forcing the wood to give way.
The maze of sewers feeds into the Los Angeles River.