Child stuck in empty sewer pipe rescued by firefighters

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez
Published: Updated:
A child was rescued from a sewer pipe in Pine Manor on Monday night. (CREDIT: South Trail Fire Department)

A child was rescued Monday night after getting stuck in a sewer pipe.

The incident happened along Seventh Avenue in the Pine Manor Community in south Fort Myers.

The South Trail Fire Protection & Rescue Service District said he was playing near the pipes and got stuck in one.

Rescuers attempted to get him out by using water, lubricant and taking off the child’s shoe but that didn’t work.

They had to chisel their way through the concrete to get him out.

The child was reunited with his parents with only a scrape on his knee.

It took the fire department only three minutes to arrive from when the 911 call was received.

The pipe was found on a construction site.

“I’ve never particularly seen something like this happen before,” said South Trail Fire Battalion Chief Matt Seneca.

Seneca was one of the people who have to find a way to free the boy.

They couldn’t pull him out so they had to cut him out with a specialized tool.

“We used a type of chipping hammer. It’s a pneumatic device so it’s powered by air, and it’s more position type of equipment that was utilized to remove the victim. In this instance, the patient’s leg was trapped inside,” Seneca said.

Iona McGregor and Lehigh Acres fire districts also responded. It was a team effort.

“The fire department is no longer just a resource used to put out fires and respond to people who are hurt or sick,” Seneca said. “We’re becoming more technically trained in incidents like this.”

Firefighters are on scene were part of the Urban Search hand Rescue team deployed to help in the Surfside building collapse.

“The ability to use these tools and be familiar and to have everything fresh in their head, this was an easy one compared to what they were actually sent down to do,” said Amy Bollen, director of public relations at South Trail Fire and Rescue.

Despite the dangers the neighborhood faced, there is no warning signs keeping people away from the construction site.

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