Child falls 12-stories through trash chute at Towers of Kuhio Park

Published  9:00 AM HST Jun 20, 2013
Towers at Kuhio Park

Police have confirmed an eight-year-old boy fell an estimated 12 stories through a trash chute at the Towers of Kuhio Park Wednesday night.

Responding to a report of a missing child, Honolulu Police located the boy in the dumpster of the Towers of Kuhio Park building A around 9:22 p.m.

"He's lucky to be alive because that was a pretty high drop," says Kent Techuo, nearby resident.

The owner at Towers of Kuhio park wouldn't let KITV4 on the property because of the ongoing investigation. Residents we spoke with say the child may have been playing around near the chute. Others think the boy was trying to climb in to get to a higher floor.

Residents say the child is lucky to be alive.

"Especially 12 floors, that's like falling off the building but just a trash can there to catch your fall," says Jerry Killion, a nearby resident.

Building owner Michael's Development released this statement saying...

"We were very saddened to learn this, and we are relieved and happy to know that the child is expected to be okay. We have been reaching out to his family to help them in any way that we can."

This situation could have been worse. Trash chutes in some buildings can lead to a rubbish compactor thats doors can be locked.

Accidents in trash chutes are rare but not unheard of. Just last year, a boy in Chicago fell 46 stories down a trash chute and was killed by injuries from the fall.

"Anything over ten feet is a potential for a fatal fall, says Dan Galanis, an Epidemiologist for the Department of Health Keiki Injury Prevention program.

Galanis is an expert in keiki injury prevention. He thought he'd heard it all, but this situation was new to him.

"It's a tough situation but basically you have to do whatever you can to make sure a child is not in danger or off on their own putting themselves in bad situations," says Galanis.

EMS tells us the child was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in Serious condition.

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