Young boy trapped in sewer pipes prayed to God not to let him die

(PHOTO: Pixabay)

During the darkest hours of one's life, a conversation with God can help do wonders for one's wellbeing. This is what 13-year-old Jesse Hernandez experienced as he spent 12 hours trapped inside Los Angeles' sewer pipes.

Hernandez had no clue whether he would be saved or die in the sewers, so he turned to God for strength. "I was just praying to God to help me and to not die," Hernandez told NBC 4. "I was scared."

It was Easter when Hernandez was celebrating with his family at Griffith Park. Unbeknownst to them, he snuck into a decommissioned building and fell through a hole, and the rushing waters of the city's underground sewage system carried him away.

Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Erik Scott admitted that "chances of surviving in that toxic environment" were slim, so it was truly a miracle that Hernandez stayed alive throughout that ordeal.

"To be honest with you, we were surprised we found him overnight," Scott said. "It does feel like a miracle. Mouths dropped when that hatch was opened and we got reports back that Jesse was alive."

Hernandez was playing by jumping on a wooden plank that eventually broke. He then fell about 25 feet into a 4-foot wide pipe.

"It was all quiet. You could just hear the water running through and you couldn't see anything. It was dark." Hernandez recalled. "I kept on going. The water, it took me."

It was only after rescue workers inserted video cameras into the pipes and lowered them into the water that Hernandez was found. Adel Hagekhalil, assistant director of the Bureau of Sanitation, told the Los Angeles Times that the cameras sent back grainy but visible live footage of the inside of the tunnels.

One camera managed to captured a smeared handprint along the tunnel wall, and it was then that they found the young boy. Sanitation workers then opened the manhole cover and heard Hernandez cry out for help. He was visibly scared and shaken, but nonetheless fine.