PARMA, Ohio (Fox8 WJW) — A newly-released picture captured the dramatic moments during the rescue of a teen boy who was sucked into a storm drain Tuesday afternoon.
The photo, taken by the Parma Fire Department, shows firefighters pulling the young man out of a sewer manhole. He’s wearing a life-jacket and appears to be frightened. Officials have not yet released the boy’s name, but say he is a freshman at Valley Forge High School.
Parma Fire Dept. Public Information Officer Doug Turner says the incident occurred at around 5:15 p.m. behind Ken’s Plaza, near York and Pleasant Valley roads.
Two boys, believed to be about 13 years old, were riding their bikes through a flooded area when of them fell into a creek and was sucked into the drain.
A city worker saw what happened and called for help.
More than a dozen rescue workers responded, lifting manhole covers to call out to the teen. Emergency responders were at first panicked when they didn’t hear back from him.
“We were assuming it was a body recovery at that time,” said Firefighter David Higginbotham.
Finally, rescuers heard the boy cry for help. He had traveled approximately 1,500 feet from where he had went into the pipe. After about 30 minutes, he was pulled from the manhole and reunited with his father.
The boy was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center, where he was treated for cuts and bruises.
Officials had called the teen’s survival “divine intervention.”
– Fox 8 News reporter Suzanne Stratford contributed to this report.