Thursday, July 2, 2009
U.S. federal officials say the cross-border tunnel they found earlier this week was on its way to becoming a sophisticated underground passageway. Though, they say it would have been a tight squeeze to get through it.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lauren Mack says the diggers pried off a manhole cover a few feet from the border fence in Tijuana. They dropped down into the sewer pipe, followed it underneath the border fence, and 680 feet into San Diego.
She says the diggers then punched through one side of the pipe and started boring through the earth for another 50 feet.
Mack says that stretch was shored up with 2x4s and had a plywood roof. She says there were battery powered lights and fans. And it looked like a ventilation system was underway. However, she says in places, the passageway was only about two feet high and 15 inches wide.
Mack says that passageway didn’t have an exit. But, she says agents did find a US exit from the sewer pipe. She suspects the diggers may have become disoriented and surfaced to see where they were. She says the exit was in the middle of a field on Southbay International Wastewater Treatment Plant property. Mack says the hole was covered with an old couch cushion.