Gila Bend first responders alongside Border Patrol agents rescued a man trapped inside a drainage pipe Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

The 36-year-old Mexican man was spotted by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter flight crew after a report of possible illegal immigrants near the Gila Bend area, an agency news release said.

Border agents found the man inside a culvert drainage pipe amid rising water and mud, the release said.

Gila Bend Fire and Rescue personnel were dispatched while agents helped the man keep his head above water.

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He was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, the news release said. The man will be processed for immigration violations after his release.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1


Shaq is a public safety reporter and the Road Runner columnist, keeping readers up to date on transportation news. In 2017, he started as an apprentice and later worked part-time until graduating from the UA and being offered a full-time position in 2018.