San Ysidro, CA— Downstream Services, Inc.'s (DSI) Emergency Response Team assisted US Customs and Border Protection officials in locating suspected illegal immigrants trapped in a 24-inch Storm drain below the Port of Entry at San Ysidro early on Sunday morning.
DSI was contacted on a Saturday by Special Agent Nathan Emery, with the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), to perform emergency CCTV inspections of storm drains after a tip was received from a passing motorist observing people entering a storm drain directly in front of the inspection booths at the border crossing.
DSI responded to the emergency by deploying one fully equipped CCTV inspection van, one welding truck, and (2) support vehicles, complete with Confined Space and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Once the team was debriefed, the first of several inspections began at 2:00 PM.
DSI entered the first storm drain in Lane #16, located in the middle of afternoon traffic. The storm drain grate was removed and a televised inspection was conducted of approximately 115-feet without signs of entry.
Under the direction of Agent Henning, DSI proceeded to Lane #24 and removed the welded grate of the second storm drain in question. DSI's RST robotic tractor camera was inserted into the vault and after televising approximately 225-feet of the 30-inch storm drain, the camera became lodged in the pipe. While performing a Confined Space Entry to dislodge the camera, DSI's assistant technician witnessed the presence of individuals in the pipe. The camera remained in the pipe to monitor activity until US Customs and Border Protection officials removed the entrants.
Eight individuals emerged from the 30-inch storm drain pipe with no injuries. Per the request of Agent Henning, DSI re-welded six storm drain grate covers prior to leaving the site at 2:00 AM Sunday morning. DSI submitted a detailed report to the Department of Homeland Security, complete with DVD inspection footage and digital photographs of their drain and sewer cleaning and repair. Contact us today for San Diego emergency drain and sewer services.