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Published: Thursday, 6/3/2010

Defiance area girl injured after fall into water-filled pipe

DEFIANCE — A 2-year-old girl was critically injured when she fell into a water-filled vertical pipe in Richland Township, about five miles east of here, the Defiance County Sheriff's Office said.

Rashele Hoffman is listed in critical condition at Toledo Hospital Thursday afternoon.

She fell into the pipe at about 6 p.m. Wednesday in the 29000 block of Standley Road. The pipe was six feet deep, 14 inches in diameter, and contained 44 inches of water. She was submerged for seven to 10 minutes, according to Sheriff David Westrick.

At the time of the accident, the girl was been playing in a field with her 4-year-old brother while their parents, Mark and Barbara Hoffman, tended horses on the property. The pipe is part of an unconnected septic system.

Rescue crews from the South Richland Fire Department and Highland Township Fire/EMS managed to extract the girl with a metal pole used to service residential ponds.

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