search, boy, teen, drainage ditch, griffith park, l.a. river

GRIFFITH PARK (CBSLA) — A frantic search is underway for a 13-year-old boy who may be trapped in a sewage pipe at Griffith Park.

Los Angeles Fire Dept. crews responded to a rescue call in the 5000 block of Zoo Dr. at 4:27 p.m.

Over 100 firefighters were working to locate the child, identified as Jesse Hernandez, LAFD spokesperson Erik Scott said Sunday night.

Investigators believe Hernandez may have been playing in the area with other children when he fell through the roof of a 20-foot concrete building into a drainage sewage system below. CBS2/KCAL 9’s Jeff Nguyen is told water runs at speeds up to 15 miles per hour in the pipe and water levels vary.

Urban search-and-rescue specialists were on-scene and were expected to work through the night, using cameras to help in the water search.

“These specialized closed-circuit TV cameras that have lights on them – we place them on pontoons to float through this pipe system,” Scott said. “They have the capability to crawl along the bottom.”

Nguyen reports Hernandez was at the park near Travel Town celebrating Easter and enjoying a picnic with his family before the incident.

The child’s family urges anyone who may have seen him to call the LAPD.

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