5 kids stuck in NYC sewer can be heard in 911 call

New York City firefighters mounted a rescue operation after five boys got stuck in a sewer on Tuesday evening, officials said.

The children were in the tunnels in the Staten Island borough for about an hour in total, lost and disoriented, Fire Department of New York (FDNY) authorities said. It was dark in the sewer and they had just one cellphone providing light.

"They crawled in there and they were in there crawling for at least 15 minutes and they became disoriented," FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens said.

The FDNY shared some audio of the children's 911 call for help. They were on the line with the children for more than 30 minutes.


The kids explained they were stuck in the sewer after going through a tunnel. They said they'd walked for a long time.

"It's like a tunnel where all the pipes are," a boy told a dispatcher on the 911 call.

The kids said they walked through a cemetery and then went down into the sewer system. Sirens can be heard on the 911 call as firefighters continued talking to the boys.

"Now you can scream as loud as you can. They want you to scream and yell," a dispatcher can be heard saying on the 911 recording. "Call for help guys, they hear you, call for help."

The children kept screaming for help as firefighters searched, officials said. Firefighters found jackets and school bags left at the mouth of a tunnel. A rescue worker entered the system on a rope with meters and a breathing apparatus.

"It was a tight space," FDNY Deputy Chief Joe Harris said. "The member had to crouch down and then crawl."

Other firefighters opened manholes at various points and entered the sewer system, authorities said. Four of the kids were eventually found together. Another child was found further down the line with a minor leg injury from crawling on his knees.

The children, who were wet and cold, were taken to a hospital, officials said. An injured firefighter was also taken to a hospital for treatment.

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