EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Las Cruces Fire Department rescued a 56-year-old man and his dog Wednesday after they both became trapped inside a tunnel which was part of an irrigation canal near east Boutz Road.
Fire officials say they were dispatched at around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday after a passerby heard a man yelling for help. Firefighters arrived and discovered the man, and his dog were trapped inside a culvert that runs underneath Boutz Road.
Fire officials say they were not able to see the man inside the tunnel, but they were able to lower a ladder and give directions. A harness was also lowered to lift the man’s dog out of the tunnel.
After the dog was rescued, the man was able to climb the ladder and was medically assessed at the scene. Officials add the culvert is part of an irrigation canal that runs north to south along Main Street and had a powerful current that made it difficult for the man to maneuver on his own.
“The incident could have taken a much more drastic turn had the man and his dog been swept further into the culvert. Beginning at the culvert, the irrigation canal is piped and runs completely underground for several hundred feet south of Boutz Road. The canal does not surface again until it reaches El Paseo Road.” said the Las Cruces Fire Department.
The fire department would also like to remind residents to avoid entering canals and culverts as they can quickly become overflown with fast-moving water.
“Irrigation canals, ditches and culverts should not be used as shelters, pathways or play areas.” said the Las Cruces Fire Department.