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(WXIA) ATLANTA -- A 3-year-old boy was rescued from a sewer Thursday after he fell in while playing with friends.

Atlanta police spokesperson Greg Lyon says it happened at the intersection of Mercury Dr. and Saturn Dr. just after 8:30 p.m.

A manhole cover did not fit properly. When Jaylin Willis stepped on it, it flipped over and the 3-year-old fell in about 20 feet.

Several teens playing nearby jumped into action.

The hole was so deep and dark that the would-be rescuers couldn't see the boy, but they could hear his distant, anguished cries for help.

"I slid my foot down, and then I slid my hand down and just kept doing that same routine," Duntray Murray.

Murray finally reached the bottom -- and one very scared little boy.

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"I picked Jaylin up and he held onto to me, and I was just hoping that we could get out of there," Murray said.

Up top, Jaylin's mother, Brittany Willis, knew she had to be strong and calm for her son...

"I was like, 'Jaylin, it's OK. Calm down. Someone's going to get you out,'" she said.

And neighbors had already put that plan in motion.

"I ran up fast as I could to go get a ladder and rope," said one rescuer.

When firefighters finally arrived, all that was left to do was pull the two boys to safety.

"They were still in the hole and the firefighters helped pull them up with the rope," said the rescuer.

Murray said that when he grows up, he'd like to be a firefighter or a police officer – something that allows him to help others, like he helped Jaylin.

Jaylin suffered cuts to his face and bruises to his body, but was on his feet again Friday.

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