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Firefighters conduct dramatic rescue of teen trapped in a 40-foot well

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Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Heroic firefighters rescued a 14-year-old South Carolina boy after he fell into a 40-foot well.

The teen, WBTW-TV reported, likely survived by treading water and clinging to pipes inside the well.

What are the details?

Members of the Gaffney City Fire Department rushed to the scene on Saturday evening to find a teen trapped inside the well.

In a Facebook post on the rescue, a spokesperson for the department said, "At 7:57pm on Saturday May 7, 2022, our department responded to the report of a person that had fallen into a well off of Pacolet Hwy in Gaffney."

"On arrival firefighters found a 14 year old male has fallen appropriately 40 feet into a well," the post continued. "The patient was treading water and able to hold on to pipes in the well to hold himself above water. Crews were able to make voice contact with the patient while crews began to set up for a technical rescue."

A firefighter was lowered into the well at that point and was able to pull the child to safety approximately 30 minutes after the first response time.

"The patient was transferred to EMS and subsequently transported to the hospital for what appeared to be non life threatening injuries," the post concluded.

"Our firefighters train often for these scenarios, that are not routine but they do happen. We’re proud of the professionalism showed by our crews."

What else?

The teen, identified by WSPA-TV as Jaylen Byers, said that he "just fell" into the well while playing with his brother.

“I just fell,” he explained. “While I fell, I just remembered being underwater.”

He said that he was standing on the top of the well, which was covered by a slab of concrete, when the lid crumbled and he fell through.

“I was shocked. I was scared. I was like, ‘What’s going on? How did I just fall down here?’ I didn’t expect it to be a well," he said. "I tried my best to swim back up. I saw a pipe and was hanging on it the whole time.”

Jaylen's brother was the one to rush to the rescue to tell their father what happened.

“I think that is a parent’s biggest fear – not being able to help their child when they need help,” Jaylen's mother, Amy Gordon, told the station. "He said, ‘Momma, my arms and legs are getting tired. I’m scared. Please just hurry.'”

The teen said the next thing he remembered, a firefighter was pulling him to safety.

“I’m a little sore," he said, "but I’m grateful to be here living another day.”

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