Police say a 32-year-old man broke in to an Arizona aquatic center, climbed into the steel support structure of a water slide, got trapped inside the tube, and ultimately died before authorities could get him out. A police officer on patrol near Scottsdale's Eldorado Aquatic and Fitness Center early Monday heard faint cries for help around 12:20am; ultimately, authorities figured out the calls were coming from the large cylindrical steel center support of the slide, but since it was located in an expansive outdoor area that caused the steel pipe to act as a megaphone, it was "difficult at first to pinpoint his location," a sergeant tells NBC News. AZ Family reports it took about an hour to find him; he was about a quarter-mile from where the officer had been patrolling.
AZ Central reports the man was transient and jumped the fence into the aquatic center; he reportedly went for a swim before climbing to the top of the water slide and then into the support tube for unknown reasons. Police officers and firefighters were able to communicate with the man for more than 90 minutes while trying to rescue him, but then he became unresponsive. Getting into the pipe likely "wasn’t an easy feat," a police rep said. "It took some work to get down in there, which obviously would not be the first place that people would be looking to find someone because of the difficulty." The structure had to be dismantled in order to remove the man's body, which took hours. He was declared dead upon being removed around 7am. (Read more Arizona stories.)