Talk about screwing around and finding out! 5 kids ran into a potentially life-threatening situation when they got lost in the sewers under Staten Island. The group decided to explore the tunnels by crawling into a storm drain. Unfortunately for them, they ventured deeper and farther than they intended. Soon, the boys found themselves very lost beneath Clove Lakes Park. And more than a little uncomfortable.
Luckily, even 40 feet below street level, they had cell reception. Dispatchers for the New York City Fire Department received a call from one of the children. Then the search began. Dispatcher Marlind Haxhialiu stayed on the line with the boy in order to narrow down the search for them. Soon the dispatched unites located the backpacks of the wayward explorers at the mouth of a tunnel. Apparently, the children had managed to crawl a full quarter mile through the tunnels.
The Luck of Cell Service Saved Their Lives
Eventually, rescuers were able to find the boys with the help of Haxhialiu. Who instructed the children to shout for help. When taking off the manhole cover of one of the 12 storm drains checked, fire units could hear the boys. Sewer tunnels are certainly not comfortable for a child. But the recovery team searching had to get through some pretty tight areas for an adult. According to FDNY Lt. John Drew, the tunnel went from a 40-in diameter to 30. That’s a very tight squeeze for rescuers.
The boys were recovered unharmed after about a half hour. Despite a scary ordeal, they’d only been stuck there for about an hour. The boys were examined at Richmond Medical Center, they were safely returned to their families. One firefighter, however, unfortunately sustained minor injuries and had to be sent to the hospital.