Jesse Hernandez, the 13-year-old Los Angeles kid who fell into the city’s labyrinth-like sewer system has been rescued after a perilous night during which officials expressed grave doubts he would survive.
Rescuers found Hernandez 13 hours after he fell into a pipe about a mile from where he fell in on Easter Sunday, according to police and media reports.
“It’s with happy hearts that all Los Angeles City agencies are able to state that we have found Jesse Hernandez,” Erik Scott, an LA Fire Department Captain said at the news conference.
In the hit Netflix show “Stranger Things” a group of kids discover an extensive underground tunnel system where demons from another demension have broken through to earth.
More than 100 people were involved in the search.
Sewage flows through the system at up to 15 miles an hour. Rescue teams identified several “potential catch points” in the system that Hernandez would pass.
Search and rescue teams crawled into the sewage network, searching pipes as far as 1.5 miles from where Hernandez disappeared.
Rescuers lowered a camera into the sewer system through a manhole near the intersection of the 134 and 5 freeway. Hernandez was discovered alive and calling out.
“You can stand in that area,” Scott said. “There’s a place as to where air is able to come through.”
The youth survived by finding and air pocket in the system. He was treated at the scene and taken to a hospital for observation. His parents, were understandably “overwhelmed with joy,” police said.
Hernadez’s ‘Stranger Things’ misadventure began when he jumped a chain-link fence to play in an abandoned maintenance shed. The floor gave way and he fell 25 feet through a 4-foot-wide pipe.
‘One was jumping on top of a wooden plank, perhaps not knowing that it led into a drainage pipe,” said Scott. “The plank gave, the wood broke, and the kid fell right through.”
He’d wandered away from a family picnic in Griffith Park attended by 20 family members as part of an Easter tradition.