UNION, NJ (News 12) – A mother in New Jersey has made a daring rescue after her 2-year-old son fell into an open manhole while playing in the park.
People who live near Kawameeh Park in Union County, New Jersey, say Ida’s floodwaters have forced the manhole covers to at least two manholes there. They wonder why no one came to fix the problem until a child fell into it.
Juan Flores has not taken his children to the park, one block from his home, since the flooding over two weeks ago. He reported the manhole cover issue to the city on Monday.
“We called several times. I’m pretty sure a lot of the neighbors did because we have a lot of kids playing in this park. Nobody came. Nobody closed the holes, ”he said.
On Thursday morning, a 2-year-old boy fell into one of the open manholes while playing in the park. His mother jumped after him, grabbing him just in time.
“While she was on the phone with 911, it started to float with the sewage flowing… She dropped her phone, jumped into the hole and was able to grab it before it hit a point in the sewer where she couldn’t reach him, ”said Battalion Commander Anthony Schmidtberg of the Union Fire Department.
The mother managed to get herself and her son out. They were examined by paramedics at the scene and then went to hospital on their own for observation.
Tamisha Baako, who lives across the street from the park with her three children, says it’s disappointing that it took such a traumatic incident to force action. She is grateful it was no worse.
“There are so many events that actually happen in this park, so the fact that it hasn’t been addressed or reviewed is a big oversight. You come to the park to enjoy and relax… then to have a devastating experience like this and traumatic for her and her son, ”Baako said.
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