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911 call released as boys trapped in tunnel told to ‘scream as loud as they could’ to be found

Five 11- and 12-year-old boys were trapped in the New York City sewer network. They were instructed to shout as loudly as possible to help firefighters find them.

After crawling through a storm drainage tunnel on Staten Island on Tuesday at 6:06pm, the children walked for about a quarter mile. They then called 911 to report that they couldn’t find their way back.

Fire department now has audio recordings of the search operation. They show how emergency call handlers attempted to locate them and then instructed them to scream when rescuers could hear them.

A dispatcher stated, “Now you can shout as loud as possible,” They want you to shout and scream.


According to firefighters in , the US city, the boys were there for around an hour.

One of the firefighters used a rope for descending into the “tight space” before continuing to crawl.

While they were working, others opened manholes and entered the sewer at different points. This included one location where four children were found. The fifth child was rescued “further down” with a broken leg.

One of the boys stated in an earlier recording that he was “stuck in the sewer”.

The dispatcher replied, “You’re stuck there?”

The second dispatcher said he was familiar in the area and tried to find the children.

“Once you got down, was it left, right, straight? – Where was it?” The dispatcher asked. “I need your guidance.”

“Kids fear rescuers passed them”

The dispatcher instructed the boys to scream when sirens were emitted. The children initially feared that rescuers would not stop.

One boy stated, “It sounded as if they went past us.”

The dispatcher assured them that they would not go anywhere and that they would get them out of trouble.

A 911 operator was heard to say that “we might be able to get the children right now” and then “we have all five children taken out of the sewer”.

The children and one firefighter were both treated after the event. None sustained serious injuries.

Moises Arias, a fire alarm dispatcher, explained via Instagram: “I received my initial phone call. A child stated that he was trapped in a sewer on Staten Island. Although he tried to provide me with a location, he wasn’t sure where he was.

“My co-worker Dispatcher Marlind Hxhialiu was familiar with the area and was able to identify landmarks for them to help pinpoint the location where the children entered our sewer system.

“We told them that they should start shouting for help. “I tried to calmly reassure them, and keep them calm,”

Children were’very frenetic’

Marlind Haxhialiu, a colleague, added the following on social media: “When they spoke to me, they were very frantic. Based on my knowledge, I was asking them questions to narrow down the exact location they had entered into the sewer system.

“I was able determine where they had entered.”

“The fire departments were able locate the belongings of the children at the sewer’s entrance. It was great that everyone came together to save these five children.


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