Steve August 17, 2020

A 32-year-old man died after being trapped for hours inside a water slide pipe at an aquatic center in Arizona, police said.

A police officer patrolling the area near the Eldorado Aquatic and Fitness Center in Scottsdale heard what he believed to be faint calls for help about 12:20 a.m. Monday, Sgt. Brian Reynolds told NBC News.

About 15 minutes later, it was determined that the calls were coming from inside the aquatic center.

A 32-year-old transient man was found dead at a Scottsdale fitness center on Monday.KPNX

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It took officers approximately an hour to pinpoint where the calls were coming from inside the locked aquatic center, police spokesman Kevin Watts said at a news conference.

The pipe where the man was found is in an expansive outdoor area, so it acted, in effect, like a megaphone, Reynolds said. “This made it difficult at first to pinpoint his location,” he said.

Police said the man had entered the facility by climbing over a high fence and then crawling inside a large cylindrical steel center support for the water slide, where he became stuck.

“It wasn’t an easy feat,” Watts said. “It took some work to get down in there, which obviously would not be the first place that people would be looking to find someone because of the difficulty.”

Officers and firefighters were in contact with the man for more than an hour and a half while trying to free him before he became unresponsive, Reynolds said. The man was declared dead at approximately 2:18 a.m.

It took several hours to dismantle the structure to recover his body.

The man has been identified, but his name was being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The investigation is ongoing. The facility features a 13-lane lap pool, four diving boards, two large water slides, a large play pool, a water playground and a fitness center, according to its website.

Calls to the aquatic center went unanswered Monday.

Image: Janelle GriffithJanelle Griffith

Janelle Griffith is a breaking news reporter for NBC News. 

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