Peru police find teenager that fell into open manhole 300 kilometers away

Living in Peru
Israel J. Ruiz

After exhaustively searching for a teenage boy that fell into an open manhole and disappeared almost two weeks ago, family members were notified that his body had been found by a fisherman.

16-year-old Ray Pomiano Villanueva was found in the Huaral district of Chancay, approximately 300 kilometers (186 miles) from where he had fallen.

To the surprise of dozens of eyewitnesses, Ray accidentally fell into the uncovered drain hole in the Lima district of Cercado as he was attempting to catch a bus.

With the majority of his bones broken, Ray was taken to a morgue in Chancay and identified by his father earlier this week.

"The flowing sewage dragged him approximately 300 kilometers. The body made it to Néstor Gambeta collecting drain and because of the ocean’s strength he ended up in Chancay," explained police.

Neighbors stated the drain hole had been uncovered for over a week, claiming SEDAPAL water company covered it half an hour after the accident.

The issue of stolen manhole covers is an increasing problem in Lima. According to reports issued by SEDAPAL water company, 2,224 manhole covers were taken in 2006, while 2,597 were stolen the following year.

These figures have jumped even higher in 2008, however, when it was reported that 1,530 lids were stolen in the first five months of the year.

At this rate, over 3,000 will have been stolen by the end of the year, reported SEDAPAL