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John Schroepfer, 12, his faced bruised, rests in bed on Sept. 20, 1972, after he was swept through a culvert earlier that day while playing with his friend Steve Chapman, 13, in Duluth. Forum Communications

Duluth boy sucked into culvert in 1972

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DULUTH, Minn. - Steve Chapman tried, but his friend just couldn't hold on. John Schroepfer was sucked into the culvert drain.

"Letting go of his hand was a pretty scary thing," Schroepfer said Friday. He was sure it was the end for him. "I tried as hard as I could."


But the water, powerful enough to suck the shoes and socks off his feet, won out.

Steve wept after his friend disappeared.

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