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People in Portland sewers: Group coming up from manhole caught on camera

A security camera captured three people climbing out of a sewer in Portland.

Posted: Jun 15, 2019 11:02 AM

Originally Published: 15 JUN 19 13:22 ET
By Audrey Weil
Click here for updates on this story

Portland (KPTV) -- A security camera outside a northwest Portland business caught three people climbing out of a sewer Thursday night.

It happened right outside of Chown Hardware on Northwest Front Ave.

It all started when Kris Lake, door shop manager, saw a shoe outside their shop and wanted to know where it came from, so he checked the surveillance video.

“It was insane,” Lake said.

What he saw was the manhole cover start to move and then pop up, a person comes out, and eventually, one after another, three people make their way up and out.

“Like a clown car just pile on out,” he said.

Caught on camera: People climb out of Portland sewer A security camera outside a northwest Portland business caught three people climbing out of a sewer.

They dust off their clothes, and at one point one of them rolls around on the ground and then changes his pants.

“The first thing I thought is that’s disgusting,” Lake said. “And then when I saw the shoes get thrown and them splat with liquid, yeah that’s when I decided this is really gross.”

Not only gross, but also unlawful and unsafe.

A Bureau of Environmental Services officer came by to check for damage, giving FOX 12 a peek inside the manhole.

From his perspective, he says all looks good, but it does not look appealing, and a spokesperson for BES says a trip through there could easily be deadly, considering the exposure to untreated sewage and the low levels of oxygen.

“If one of ‘em had tripped, fell in the water, drowned, how would anybody know anyone was in there,” Lake said. “They acted like it wasn’t their first time.”

In fact, later Friday night, when he looked back through even more surveillance video, he found that just after midnight on June 2, five people climbed out of the same sewer.

BES says if you see anything like this, call the city’s 24/7 dispatch line at 503-823-1700.

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