After Frantic 13-Hour Search, News on Boy Who Fell in Drainpipe

13-year-old Jesse Hernandez found safe after falling into drainpipe
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2018 7:44 AM CDT
Updated Apr 2, 2018 10:25 AM CDT
Jesse Hernandez.   (Twitter/LAFD)

(Newser) – A family in Los Angeles just got their own Easter miracle. Jesse Hernandez, a 13-year-old who fell into a drainage pipe while picnicking in Griffith Park on Sunday with relatives, spurring a massive search, was found "alert and talking" in the sewer system Monday morning, fire officials tell the Los Angeles Times. CBS News reports Jesse was discovered around 5:30am local time. LA Fire Department workers were placing cameras into a maintenance opening on the Ventura Freeway when they found Jesse. Per ABC News and the Times, Jesse and other kids were playing in an old maintenance shed on the edge of Griffith Park around 4:30pm Sunday when a wooden plank Jesse was standing on suddenly broke, sending him plummeting 25 feet down into a drainage pipe with fast-moving water that empties out into the Los Angeles River, per fire officials.

More than 100 firefighters and other specially trained rescuers had joined the search for the teen. "A tremendous team effort over the past 12 hours resulted in the best outcome; Jesse Hernandez was found alive this morning," the LAFD said in a statement. "From start to finish, this was an unprecedented team effort." Fire officials say when they stumbled across Jesse, they gave him a cellphone so he could call his family before he was taken to a nearby hospital for a medical evaluation. (A 10-year-old Connecticut boy died after getting sucked into a drainpipe last summer.)

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