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11-year-old boy dies after floodwaters pulled him into storm drain in Arkansas

The boy had reportedly been playing around the storm drain when he was swept away.

An 11-year-old boy died and a 47-year-old woman was hospitalized after being swept into a storm drain in Bentonville, Arkansas, local officials say.

Bentonville Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Boydston said the boy had been playing with other children near a water detention area near an apartment complex on Monday evening, according to local NBC affiliate KNWA

About 14 rescue personnel searched the nearby storm drain system, pulling up manhole covers to locate the boy and woman, Boydston said.

The woman, who had reportedly jumped in to rescue the boy, was pulled 20 yards through the drainage system, while the boy was dragged about 500 yards, KNWA reported. Both were taken to the hospital, where the boy died.

The current condition of the woman is unknown, and it is not clear if she and the boy were related.

The boy had attended Ruth Barker Middle School in Bentonville, according to KNWA.

Dan Weese, deputy director of transportation for the city of Bentonville, said the area had been experiencing higher-than-average levels of flooding.

“What was at least taken in in that area was well above 2.1 inches,” he said. “We’re seeing flooding in areas where we typically just don’t see it.”

He also said the drains involved in the incident were likely between 18 and 24 inches wide, and said getting caught in them would "feel like hundreds of pounds of pressure pushing you through a pipe.”

Weese and Boydston urged people to use caution during flash flooding events, and to avoid playing outside in the rain.

“It can be a pipe inlet that might suck you in, it may be something that traps you from getting from the surface, it may wash your car off the road,” Weese said.