VIDEO: 7-year-old Minnesota boy rescued after septic tank tumble - KMSP-TV

VIDEO: 7-year-old boy rescued from septic tank in Blue Earth, Minn.

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Photo by Scott Wasserman Photo by Scott Wasserman
BLUE EARTH, Minn. (KMSP) -

A Minnesota family is warning others to secure septic tank lids after a 7-year-old boy tumbled inside one while playing in the yard of his home near Blue Earth, Minn., early Monday evening.

The boy's aunt, Chelsey Hledik, told Fox 9 News her nephew, Noah Laehn, was outside at about 5 p.m. when he hopped on the lid of the septic tank and fell through.

"I was running and hopping on the rocks like it was an adventure and a stream filled with sharks," Noah Laehn explained to Fox 9 News.

WATCH IT: Noah's story of 'dark and mysterious' septic tank

When he jumped on the last lid, it popped off. Noah disappeared and found himself trapped 10 feet below ground. Meanwhile, his cousin, Gavin, quickly ran to tell Hledik, who admits she feared "it was deep and Noah was drowning."

Luckily, the tank had been drained just a day before. Otherwise, he may have drowned. Instead, there was only about 2 feet of muck down below. 

"I was panicking and I could hear Noah as soon as I came around that corner yelling, 'Help!'" she remembered.

When she peered down, Hledik saw Noah standing on the pump, holding onto the pipe. Soon, Deputy Pat Campbell was en route. Department officials say as soon as the call came out, the sense of urgency was inescapable.

"It makes your heart race immediately," Chief Deputy Scott Adams said.

Once on scene, a speedy rescue was caught on dashcam footage, with deputies lowering a ladder down the pipe so the boy could climb to Adams and Campbell, who pulled him to safety.

"It was great knowing he was okay," Campbell reflected. "Got him to safety, and he was out of the tank -- best relief."

As for Noah's mother, she looks at her son -- who barely suffered a scratch -- and said she knows just how lucky they are.

"Chelsey and I, neither one of us slept much last night going through the what-ifs," Lissia Laehn told Fox 9 News. "What if he hit his head on the edge?"

After thanking his rescuers, Noah's family turned their attention back to the previously unseen hazard at the home.

"I didn't know there weren't screws in it, so it was a surprise he was able to fall in," Hledik said.

Now, they are urging everyone to make sure septic tank lids are secured tightly with nails or screws to avoid any future accidents. 

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