(Rescue turns out to be a false alarm)…The original report was received at just before 11:00 Wednesday morning.

According to the report 3 homeless people had been trapped in a collapsed drainage pipe in the storm drains of Imperial Commons in El Centro. El Centro Fire responded to the call. They found the storm drain system and they found the collapse. Firefighters prepared and executed a plan to perform a prolonged technical confined space entry operation. They made entry and began the search for the victims. A decision was made to perform and trench and excavation operation. Public Works assisted the fire department in carefully digging the trench. After two hours it was determined there was no one in the drainage pipe. Rescue crews, however, remained on scene until just after 5:00 pm. Assisting in the operation was AMR Ambulance, American Red Cross, Imperial Irrigation District, City of El Centro, Southern California Gas, AT&T, Charter Communications, and El Centro Police. No injuries were reported to any of the participants