It was a harrowing day for everyone involved. Thankfully, it was also one with a happy ending!
An 11-year-old boy and some friends were playing outside near a drainage ditch after a powerful storm passed through their small community in Harrison, Wisconsin. Intrigued by the swirling water, the young boy waded into the ditch, but the rising flood waters quickly swept him off his feet and sucked him into the sewer.
His friends tried to help, but to no avail.
“His friends were trying to hang on to him and trying to pull him back out,” said Harrison Fire Rescue Chief Amos Mikkelson. “An adult came along and tried to hang on to him, but the suction was too great and it pulled him into the sewer.”
Rescue crews immediately started combing the area, looking for any sign of the boy. After 45 minutes of searching, though, the boy’s desperate and heartbroken parents began to lose hope that they would ever see their precious son again.
But as the flood waters began to recede, one of the firemen looked down at the manhole cover he was standing on and noticed something that left him stunned: a tiny finger was poking out of the hole on top!
— CNN (@CNN) August 30, 2018
“I looked down, and I [saw] the boy’s finger come up through the hole,” said Harrison Fire Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Wesley Pompa. “We instantly dropped down to our knees to start prying the cover open.”
Immediately, the rescue team worked to open the manhole cover and they were soon able to lift the little boy out of the ground. Amazingly – besides a few small scrapes and bruises – he was unharmed.
“The first thing [the firefighters] saw was a smile,” Mikkelson recalled. “He was breathing, he was happy to be rescued. As you can imagine, he was jubilant. His condition was really just bumps and bruises and scrapes.”
The boy, whose name has not been released, managed to survive by finding an air pocket in the manhole area and clinging to a rung until help arrived. Rescue workers say it is a miracle he survived.
Pompa, who has been a firefighter for 15 years, says he has never gotten emotional over a rescue – until now.
The boy was taken to a local hospital to be checked out but is believed to be doing just fine.
A miracle indeed!
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