By Neelam Rahim
Johannesburg water and emergency services have embarked on a desperate rescue operation after a six-year-old boy slipped and fell into a manhole in Dlamini Park, Soweto, over the weekend.
The boy allegedly played with friends when he slipped and fell down the manhole.
Radio Islam speaks to Emergency Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi.
Robert explains that “on Sunday afternoon around 3 pm, a young boy was playing with his two friends in Dlamini Park extension 1 when he slipped into Johannesburg water manhole and was swept away by the water current. The matter was reported to the police station the same day as a missing person as there was no information on his whereabouts.”
“On Monday morning, after the family had interviewed, the friends reported that he fell into the manhole, which we were notified. We then started our search and managed to cover the area he fell into. We called off our search around 5 pm on Monday and resumed our search today. The search started from Kliptown into Klipspruit West and Eldorado Park. We covered those area sections block by block where the incident occurred and unfortunately have not recovered the boy. The search has been called off for today and will resume from tomorrow,” says Robert.
The search entails going through the actual piping underground.
“We are sending rescuers underground using our thermal imaging cameras to detect the possible location of the boy,” says Robert.
Robert also says, “We want to make a call to our residents out there. The covers are left open at most of our manholes or drainage systems due to vandalism and theft. This poses a danger to the residents, especially to young children. We appeal to our residents to try and monitor that young kids do not play around in these areas. However, should residents notice incidents like this, they need to contact Johannesburg water so they can come and attend to the situation to prevent an incident like this. As of tomorrow, we plan to try and divert the water system from water flow so that we can send rescuers to search the areas where the incident occurred.”