BRYANSK, January 9 (Itar-Tass) — Rescuers have examined 80 percent of the sewage system in Bryansk where an 18-month-old child fell on Sunday, January 8.
The body has not been found so far, Oleg Yankov, the spokesman for the regional branch of the Emergencies Ministry, told Itar-Tass on Monday, January 9.
The incident occurred in midday on Sunday in the city’s central Sovetsky District. The sewage pipe had ruptured and the ground caved in, causing a 26-year-old woman with an 18-month-old child in the pram to fall in the crater. The woman was rescued live, but her child fell out of the pram and was dragged down by the flood in the sewage pipe.
“The woman with a child in the perambulator unexpectedly fell underground, as the walkway above the sewage collector caved in at about 13:00 Moscow time on Sunday at the crossroads of Aviatsionnaya and Bryansky Front Streets,” spokesman of the Russian Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin said. “The child dropped out of the perambulator when falling underground, and the sewage flow dragged down the child, the mother of the child was saved,” he said.
The 26-year-old wife of a police officer walking with their child in the pram fell underground as the walkway caved in, the police department in the Bryansk Region said in an official press release. The woman managed to catch on the edge of the crater that saved her life. The child with the pram was dragged down into the sewage system. Being on duty on that day, the woman’s husband descended underground by rope and rescued his wife to safety.
Rescuers and water utility workers started the search for the missing child. Divers found the pram, two child boots and the hood from his coat in the wastewater treatment facilities located about five kilometres away from the scene of the incident.
“We decided to continue the search during the night. The divers will be searching through all pipes, and special machinery will be used in narrow pipes. All the pipes from the scene of the incident to the wastewater treatment facilities will be searched, unless the dead boy is found,” Yankov said last night.
On Monday, rescuers continued the search. In the morning, repair works to replace the ruptured pipe began.
A criminal case has been opened under Article 109, Part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code on charges of “causing death by negligence due to a person’s failure to perform his or her professional duties”.
“The leadership of the Investigation Committee instructed its investigative branch in the Bryansk Region to conduct a thorough investigation into all the details of the incident,” Markin said. “Meanwhile, the detectives should find the officials overseeing public utilities in the city, and should give a tough legal assessment of their actions or negligence,” he said.
The investigation of the criminal case was put under control of the Investigation Committee’s leadership.
According to the investigators, “one of the possible causes of the cave-in was irregularities during the construction of the sewage system”.