New York children rescued after calling 911 to report they were ‘stuck in the sewer’
An adventurous group of 11- and 12-year-old boys found themselves in a stinky situation after they veered into a storm drain tunnel for fun at the Staten Island Zoo in New York City and found themselves stuck in the sewer drains.
The group ended up trapping themselves in the pipes and climbing more than a quarter mile, past multiple manhole covers, under a roadway, and through the parking lot of the Staten Island Zoo.
According to the New York Fire Department (FDNY), dispatchers received a 911 call on Tuesday at approximately 6 p.m. from one of the boy’s cellphones after the young teens became disoriented.
“What’s the address in Staten Island?” the dispatcher says at the start of the 911 call released by the FDNY.
“We don’t know … we’re stuck in the sewer.” the boy’s reply.
In apparent disbelief, the dispatcher asked again, “You’re stuck where?”
“In the sewer,” the boy responds.
The boys continued, explaining that they had “walked a lot,” and that they walked through a cemetery before crawling in.
“It’s like a tunnel where all the pipes are.” one of the boys explained.
The boys had climbed down into the storm drain and crawled for nearly 15 minutes, officials said.
A dispatcher who was familiar with the area quickly figured out that the boy’s point of entry had been on the side of a local park, Clove Lakes Park.
The children were told to yell for help in order to help responders pinpoint their exact location.
“Help! Help! Help us!” the boys yelled.
Firefighter John Loennecker of West Brighton said that when first responders arrived, they found the children’s backpacks and jackets, which confirmed their point of entry.
After discovering the boys’ belongings, the first responders began following the drain and opening up manholes along the way.
“The last drain I opened on Clove [Road], is when I could hear them clearly,” Loennecker told FOX 5.
Responders used gas masks and oxygen tanks to enter the narrow opening the boys had used. Officials said the entrance was roughly 40 inches wide and then narrowed to about 30 inches wide, where the children were found and rescued.
“We might have hands on the kids right now,” someone on a radio could be heard saying on the 911 call. “We have all five children removed from the sewer. EMS is assessing them as we speak.”
All five children along with one firefighter were taken to Richmond University Medical Center in West Brighton, for evaluation where they are in stable condition.