'Overwhelmed with joy': Boy who fell in pipe found alive

More than 100 rescuers worked through the night to try to find the 13-year-old - a task made more hard because, they say, it was too unsafe to send a searcher into the mazelike network of pipes beneath the city.

Rescuers searched for more than 12 hours after Hernandez fell about 25 feet into a 4-foot diameter pipe while playing on top of a Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation structure in Griffith Park on Sunday.

Jesse Hernandez has been found alive Monday morning after falling into an underground system of sewage pipes. He was found near a site where the 134 Freeway passes underneath the 5 Freeway.

Firefighters gave him a cellphone so he could reassure his family, and paramedics took the teen to a hospital for decontamination and medical aid, Scott said.

"Our Crisis Response Team was deployed to provide support to the family throughout the night as they waited for news of Jesse", Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement after the boy was found. "Thank you to the Hernandez family for your patience and optimism during this harrowing experience".

The fire department, working with the Bureau of Sanitation, pinpointed the search area to a one-mile radius, and intelligence then narrowed the search down to a 6,400-foot section of pipe, Scott of the LAFD told ABC News.

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"Any subterranean location, particularly one that involves waste, can produce toxic gases - methane, hydrogen sulphide - so breathable air is a key element", Mr Humphrey said.

Jesse immediately asked for a cellphone to call his family. Twenty of Hernandez's family members remained at the scene.

Rescuers finally found Jesse after seeing images of handprints on a sewer. "They wanted to bring Jesse back to his family". Rescuers were not able to enter the drainage area because it was a hazardous environment, according to spokesman for the L.A. Fire Department, David Ortiz.

"It's sad that this happens to him because he just came to the park to have fun", he said.

More than 100 members of the Los Angeles Fire Department and personnel from several agencies assisted in the search.

Erik Scott made the announcement at 5:41 a.m. The system of sewage pipes is a closed system that required a detailed search on each possible pathway, Stewart said. LAFD's Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces also mounted a specialized camera on a flotation device which was tethered to a rope and extended 300 feet down a pipe. The cameras "have more advanced capabilities including lighting and the ability to attach to a pontoon which will crawl along the pipe".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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