Evansville, Ind. (WEHT) – A young Tri-State boy is safe tonight, but it took some improvised engineering to rescue him from a dire situation. The youngster somehow fell into a water well pipe near the westside. First responders showed up in droves and acted quickly. They had no choice.
Since the boy fell down that pipe, welders have sealed the 18-inch opening shut. Evansville Water and Sewage Utility called it a temporary solution to hopefully prevent a similar situation from happening again.
There were cheers of jubilation and sighs of relief last night after a young boy was pulled from a well. Evansville Fire Department Division Chief Mike Larson said their job is to rescue people and help people. “When you can see them, but you can’t make that grab and make that save, it’s a helpless feeling,” said Larson.
Larson said a 5-year-old boy fell down a thirty foot pipe while waiting to watch a firework show. When responders arrived, Larson said they realized the boy was also trapped in waist-high water. Larson said the young boy was frightened and also has autism. He said coming up with a quick and creative solution the boy would understand was crucial.
“Somebody came up with the idea of potentially grabbing a swingset seat,” said Larson. “With the mother’s assistance, we communicated with the child down inside the well to straddle the swing set seat like he was riding a horse, and then they slowly pulled him up using the sides of the pipe to brace him.”
Larson said responders were stationed nearby and were able to arrive on the scene in less than five minutes. Larson said the operation took over an hour and when the boy was rescued, he was alert with minimal injuries. Now Larson said the department is receiving national attention for their actions and first responders around the county are taking notes.
“In our business, there is no typical run,” said Larson. “We can prepare for things based off previous experiences. I think departments all across the country will probably learn a little bit about what we experimented with and what worked for us on this .”
As for other preventative measures, Larson said that would be up to the owners of the private property to take care of. At this time, he said he does not know who owns the land or what type of cover was originally over the hole.
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(This story was originally published on July 5, 2019)