NY firefighters rescue girl who fell in sewer

The 12-year-old fell about 12 feet into the sewer and was screaming for her mother when firefighters arrived

By Maki Becker
The Buffalo News

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A 12-year-old girl walking to school Tuesday morning fell down an open sewer drain and was stuck there for about an hour before a man walking by heard her cries for help.

Grace Knox, a student at Southside Elementary School, was screaming for her mother when firefighters from Engine 25 arrived on South Legion Drive between Rutland and Melrose Streets, at about 8:30 a.m., according to Capt. Daniel O'Leary of the Buffalo Fire Department.

Grace fell about 12 feet down into the sewer where there was about a foot of running water, fire officials said.

"She was screaming for her mom," O'Leary said.

Firefighters lowered a ladder down to her and she was able to climb on. Then firefighters pulled her to safety and her family was quickly located. Grace was taken by ambulance to Women and Children's Hospital, with her mother at her side.

It was lucky Grace was able to get on the ladder herself, O'Leary said, because the hole where she was trapped was a tight space.

Normally, Grace walks to school with her little brother, Jacob, said her stepfather Timothy Glab. "He happened to be sick today," he said. "First time in two years. He doesn't miss school."

Jacob, 9, had tears in his eyes as he watched the firefighters and police on South Legion.

"Is a broken leg bad?" he asked his stepdad, who comforted him and assured him that it could have been a lot worse.

The cover to the sewer drain was found a few feet away on some grass when firefighters arrived. They also found Grace's cell phone out on the sidewalk.

Workers with the Buffalo Sewer Authority were called to the scene to determine why the sewer cover had been removed.

Copyright 2017 The Buffalo News

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