Boy drawn into culvert while swimming, helped out by villagers

A 14-year-old boy was dragged into an underwater culvert by a rushing current and trapped while he was swimming in a Tonglu river with his father around 5pm on Saturday.

A 14-year-old boy was dragged into an underwater culvert by rushing current and trapped in it while he was swimming in a Tonglu County, Zhejiang Province river with his father around 5pm on Saturday.

His father tried several times to free his son but failed due to the strong flow of water. Villagers reported the incident to the police after a few minutes and they were quickly on the scene.

They made use of planks and quilts to stop the flow of water and asked the local water department to close upstream hydropower stations as well. Almost 200 villagers had come to help in the rescue before rescuers from the public security bureau and medical department arrived.

The culvert measures one meter in height, eight meters in width and 20 centimeters in depth. The boy was trapped between steel barriers in the hole, although he could breathe the whole time.

Firefighters swam to the boy from downstream to take down the barriers. The boy was finally freed after an hour of rescue efforts. The boy received some minor scratches but suffered no serious injuries.

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