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Toddler, Mother Rescued From Septic Tank

May 30, 1996

ALDEN, N.Y. (AP) _ Rescuers formed a human chain to pull a 2-year-old boy and his mother from a septic tank after the toddler fell down the 10-foot shaft and his mother jumped into the sewage to save him.

Dylan Kerl was playing behind St. John’s School in Alden, about 20 miles east of Buffalo, on Wednesday when he fell into the hole, which is usually covered by a grate. His mother, Lisa Kerl, immediately jumped in after him.

``I just had to do it. I had no choice,″ Lisa Kerl said Thursday. ``It wasn’t true heroism. I just had to get him. I would have jumped in for either of my children.″

Dave Bressette, an assistant soccer coach, rushed over, along with other parents watching a game nearby. Bressette and another man, Dr. Frank Torrelli, were lowered into the hole as several other parents held their legs.

The two grabbed the boy, but the mother, frantic, refused to let go. So they both held onto her and all were pulled up from the hole. Mother and child were covered with sewage.

``It was a group effort with a lot of women and men helping,″ Bressette said. ``I wish I knew the people holding my legs.″

Dylan and his mother were taken to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst for bumps and bruises. The boy was taking antibiotic medicine because doctors believe he might have ingested sewage after falling into the tank.

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