Boy Who Went Missing Is Found Alive After Falling 25 Feet Into A Network Of Drainage Pipes
Easter weekend fun turned into a rescue mission when a 13-year-old boy was washed away in a maze-like system of drainage pipes.
Jesse Hernandez was playing with his friends in a maintenance shed near Griffith Park when he fell into the drainage system through a pipe which was 4 feet wide. Apparently, he was jumping on top of a wooden plank, which broke under the boy’s weight, and he fell through it.
#GriffithParkRescue 13-year-old Jesse Hernandez fell into a drainage ditch earlier this afternoon. Four+ hours into a search and no updates on the boy. Family and friends have gathered and await any news. Follow @latimes for updates. pic.twitter.com/1cg1d3MqY2
— Maria Alejandra (@mariaalephoto) April 2, 2018
The drainage flows into the L.A. River through an intricate system of pipes that look like a maze. The pipes are filled with more than 2 feet of sewage that moves at 15 mph.
When the boy went missing, the rescue team was called out. Hundreds of rescuers worked all night to find Jesse. The task wasn’t easy because it was too dangerous to send someone into the mazelike network of pipes beneath the city.
— LAFD Talk (@LAFDtalk) April 2, 2018
12 hours went by, but the rescuers found nothing. Then, a sanitation crew decided to put a camera into maintenance hatch a mile from the park. That’s how they were able to detect where Jesse was and whether he was still alive.
The boy went missing near 5254 Zoo Drive in Los Angeles but was found near the intersection of the 134 Freeway and the 5 Freeway, which means that he might have traveled about three-quarters of a mile.
Standing with some of the remarkable people who oversaw an intense rescue mission near Griffith Park. Around 4:30 Easter Sunday, 13-year-old Jesse Hernandez fell 25 feet into a Griffith Park drainage pipe and battled temperature, toxic gas + time before https://t.co/9C2D8x8lD3 pic.twitter.com/pTB9Qav92Z
— Zohreen (@Zohreen) April 2, 2018
Rescuers managed to pull scared, cold, and hungry Jesse out. He was sent to a hospital for a medical examination.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) April 2, 2018
The structure above the pipe, where Jesse was playing, was withdrawn from service in the 1980s. Despite that, the pipe itself, built in 1965, was active and carrying sewage. The department's investigation of the incident is examining why the building has not been torn down.
Whom to blame for the unfortunate accident that could have had a fatal ending: the boy, who shouldn’t play near old pipes, or the authorities, who should have warned about the dangerous place?