Massillon fire chief, police officer rescue teens trapped in fast-moving water pipeline

One teen was washed through about a mile of pipeline before being rescued.

Massillon police chief and officer rescue teens trapped in fast-moving water pipeline

MASSILLON, Ohio (WOIO) - Five Massillon teenagers were rescued after being washed into the city’s storm drain system following a heavy rainstorm.

Police say one boy slipped into the fast moving water and five others slipped in while trying to rescue him.

Fortunately, one of the boys was able to scramble out of the water and called police for help.

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Officer Aaron Franklin was first on the scene and was able to use a life ring to get two of the boys out of the water, but the other three had been pushed by the power of the water too far into the pipe for him to reach with the life preserver.

“Seeing them come up, the tears and the sheer agony, they didn’t know if they were going to make it,” Franklin said.

Massillon Fire Chief Tom Burgasser arrived on scene and was secured with rope and went into the drain and was able to rescue two boys.

The last teen to be rescued was pushed by the water through almost a mile of pipeline under the city and ended up in a retention area, where he was able to grab onto a ladder built into the pipeline, which led to a grate that was removed and he was safely lifted out.

The boys did not need significant medical attention. They were all treated for scrapes and bruises at the Massillon Fire Station, and released to their families.

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