It was a scary morning for an 8-year-old boy who was found safe after being sucked into a gushing drain pipe Sunday.
The boy was playing with his brothers and sisters in a grassy retention basin in the 8600 block of Savoy Lane, where a drain pipe leading to a creek was flooded with water, said O’Fallon Sgt. Mike Mojzis. Some areas in the metro-east region saw as much as five inches of rain over the weekend.
The boy was suddenly sucked into the drain pipe, and his siblings ran to tell their father he had disappeared.
Police and firefighters arrived and with the father’s help began searching the drain pipe and creek, Mojzis said. As they were searching, they heard a small voice yelling.
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“We said, ‘Does that sound like a kid to you?’” Mojzis said.
The search party followed the voice to a manhole on the other side of the retention basin’s levee. When they removed the cover, there was the boy — hanging onto the ladder. “It could have been a lot worse,” Mojzis said.
The boy did not have any visible injuries, though he was transported to a local hospital to be checked out.
O’Fallon police, fire and EMS responded along with St. Clair County Special Emergency Services. Swansea Fire Department’s dive team and Belleville Fire Department crews were also on their way to assist when the boy was found.
Several roads in St. Clair County were covered with water Sunday. The Illinois Department of Transportation closed US 50 west of Lebanon mid-afternoon Sunday. In Washington Park and Alorton, roads and basements were flooded. Brian Whitaker of the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency said crews rescued one person from a vehicle stranded in flood waters in the Centreville area.
No injuries or fatalities were reported, Whitaker said, and no evacuations were necessary.