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WATCH: Girl rescued after falling into sewer manhole

Posted at 3:54 PM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 18:41:39-04

Cell phone video obtained by 7 Eyewitness News shows Buffalo firefighters lowering a ladder Tuesday morning into a sewer to reach 12 year-old Grace Knox, and Knox climbing to safety moments later.

Knox was walking to Southside Elementary School around 7:30 a.m. when she fell 12 feet into an open manhole on Rutland Street near South Legion Drive.

She was trapped for about an hour in a foot of rushing water. With no cell phone, all she could do was call for help.

A passerby, George Bankowski of South Buffalo, heard her cries and came to her aide. He alerted rescuers, who arrived a short time later.

Knox underwent surgery on her ankle and will not be able to walk for weeks.

Police believe pranksters or vandals removed the manhole cover overnight.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly talked with George Bankowski about his efforts to save the seventh grade student.