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Border & Immigration

Five People Rescued From Flooded Drainage Pipe Near Border

The drainage pipe area where U.S. Border Patrol agents found five Mexican nationals attempting to cross into the United States on Dec. 23, 2019, but became trapped and needing rescue.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
The drainage pipe area where U.S. Border Patrol agents found five Mexican nationals attempting to cross into the United States on Dec. 23, 2019, but became trapped and needing rescue.

Five people trying to enter the United States from Mexico Monday through flooded drainage pipes were rescued by firefighters.

U.S. Border Patrol officials said the rescue operation began around 1 p.m. near Dairy Mart and Clearwater roads.

The five Mexican nationals — three men and two women — were trapped in floodwaters so high that only their heads were visible above the waterline, according to Border Patrol spokesman Justin Castrejon.

San Diego firefighters pulled the victims from the water and took them to a hospital for evaluation.

Castrejon said the pipes are part of the same drainage system in which 17 people were trapped on Thanksgiving night amid a human smuggling attempt, which resulted in a similar rescue operation amid heavy rainfall. Castrejon said seven of those people were hospitalized as a result.