Little Joe disappeared from Oldenburg on June 17, sparking a major police manhunt across Germany, but it wasn’t until a stranger heard whimpers coming from the sewers that he was found
A young boy missing for more than a week has been found alive after becoming stuck in a sewer just 20 meters from home.
Joe disappeared on June 17 with an extensive police search launched across Germany to find him.
It was miraculously discovered eight days later, thanks to a passerby who heard a faint whimpering coming from the underground storm sewer.
The 43-year-old heard the boy’s screams from the manhole early on Saturday morning and alerted the police.
Firefighters and an ambulance rushed to the streets in Oldenburg and rescued the youth, who is now recovering in hospital.
The crew lifted the manhole cover in the street leading to the sewer before a firefighter climbed down and pulled the boy out.
An eyewitness to the rescue operation told local media: “I saw the boy being carefully pulled out of the hole, a helper calmed him down.
“I didn’t know it was Joe. He looked unharmed, I can’t believe he was in there and alive.”
An unnamed neighbor told local media: “A rescuer calmed the child down. It was very fortunate that he was heard. A lot of cars drive through here and the noise level is higher there.”
Oldenburg Police Department confirmed that multiple departments across Germany were involved in the search for Joe, as well as off-duty officers who volunteered to help.
According to the emergency services, local hunting associations and other privately organized search parties were also involved in the attempts to find the missing boy.
Police chief Johann Kühme said: “Thanks to a tip from the population, we were able to find Joe in a sewer today.
“The most important thing is that he is alive and was taken immediately to a hospital where he is in good hands. We can all breathe easy.”
Police spokesman Stephan Klatte said Joe was being treated in hospital but managed to smile and was happy to be rescued.
“The boy was hypothermic but responsive. He has no major injuries, there was no danger to life,” he added.
Police are still investigating how Joe, who is reported to have a mild mental disorder, was able to survive in the gully for so long.
Klatte said, “Our job is to find out how Joe got into the sewer hole.”
Retired paramedic Peter Sefrin, 81, told local media: “With these temperatures, the heat is an important factor. But of course it’s cooler in the canal.
“Humans can survive a good three days without water and food. This is not a problem.”
He added: “We know that people buried in caves survived on dripping condensation. Maybe that was the case here.”
Police are reportedly investigating the storm sewer system in the area to find out how the boy survived and how he got stuck there.
COP Kühme adds: “I am very impressed by the great commitment of the past few days.
“I would like to thank all full-time and voluntary employees and people who did everything with empathy and a high level of personal commitment – until late at night – to find a missing child.
“Everyone can be proud.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/boy-8-missing-more-week-27336644 Boy, 8, missing for more than a week, found alive after getting stuck in sewers - World News