A missing eight-year-old boy was discovered stuck in a sewer after an eight day search after a neighbour heard a “faint whimpering sound” coming from a drain.
A huge search was launched with helicopters, drones and volunteers before he was discovered less than 200m away trapped under the street.
When fire crews lifted the manhole cover they found Joe at the bottom of the sewer. They worked to calm him down and a firefighter entered the sewer to winch him out.
Due to the cold weather overnight he was taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia - but had visible external injuries.
Police are investigating how he got into the sewer system and haven’t ruled out the possibility the boy was placed down there deliberately.
Experts believe he could have survived from drinking condensation or rain water dropping down into the sewer.
His father told reporters he was “doing well” given the circumstances.
Police shared the news Joe had been found, tweeting: “Eight-year-old Joe lives!”
“Thanks to a tip from the population, we were able to find Joe in a sewer system today”, said police chief Johann Kühme.
“The most important thing is that he is alive and was immediately taken to a hospital where he is in good hands. We can all breathe a sigh of relief.
“I’m very impressed by the great commitment of the past few days.
“I would like to thank all the full-time and voluntary workers and people who did everything with empathy and a high level of personal commitment - until late at night - to find a missing child. Everyone can be proud.”
So far, the investigators have not questioned the eight-year-old, who has mental difficulties. The force want to give the child time to rest before questioning him.