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Border agents rescue 5 illegal immigrants from tunnel

November 3, 2011 | 11:14 pm

Tunnel from Mexico
Border Patrol agents rescued five illegal immigrants who became stuck in a tunnel as they were trying to enter the United States from Mexico near Otay Mesa, federal authorities said Thursday.

An agent on patrol early Wednesday noticed a man stuck in an opening in the ground, Customs and Border Protection said. The man told the agent there were four other people in the tunnel behind him.

Four men and one woman, all Mexican citizens, were pulled from the tunnel with the help of the San Diego and Chula Vista fire departments.

The makeshift tunnel branched off an abandoned gas line near the Otay Mesa port of entry, the agency said. The illegal immigrants had entered the tunnel via a manhole on the Mexican side of the border near the international boundary.

The five adults were taken into custody. The case was under investigation.


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-- Robert J. Lopez

Photo: The hole near Otay Mesa from which the immigrants were rescued. Credit: Customs and Border Protection