On Sunday, a 13-year-old boy on an Easter picnic with his family fell through a wooden plank in a Los Angeles park and plummeted 25 feet down, into the city’s sewer and drainage pipe system. He was swept away. A frantic overnight search began. And after more than 12 hours, he was located conscious and alive. The Associated Press reports that that 13-year-old was playing with other children in an abandoned maintenance building in the park, when a wooden plank broke beneath his feet.
… The situation was dire. Here’s how the fire department describes the pipe system: “The pipes are 4 foot in diameter filled with liquid at varying depth (2 feet and deeper) moving at 15 mph. This network of pipes parallel the LA River and cross under freeways.” It’s a maze of pipes. The boy was somewhere in that maze. The environment was toxic. And his chances of survival were diminishing by the hour. Firefighters, police, state highway patrol, the water department, the parks and rec department — they all searched. Shortly before dawn Monday, sanitation workers lifted up a manhole cover less than a mile from where Jesse had disappeared. That’s where they found him, 11 feet below them, crying out for help.