Baby Jessica fell down a well on Oct. 14, 1987

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Thursday, October 14, 2021
Jessica McClure fell in a well in 1987
Jessica McClure fell into the 8-inch well in her aunt's backyard in Midland, Texas.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It was October 14, 1987 when the world watched as dozens of rescue workers descended on a backyard in Midland to save the life of a baby girl who fell down a well.

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Snapshots from ABC13 coverage of the rescue of Jessica McClure

Her name was Jessica McClure, but she will be forever remembered in America's hearts as 'Baby Jessica.' She was just 18 months old when she fell into the 8-inch well in her aunt's backyard.

For more than two tense days, we held our collective breath as what happened next became the focus of every media outlet in the country, with Americans watching and waiting to see if the toddler could be saved in time.

VIDEO: ABC13's live coverage of the rescue of Baby Jessica

Live coverage of the rescue of Jessica McClure, 1987

Trapped inside the tiny space, it was a tough task getting to little Jessica, but the people of Midland were just the ones to get the job done. Their wealth of gas and oil experts and workers provided the expertise needed to get to Jessica, frightened and alone, 22 feet below the ground.

VIDEO: Melanie Lawson interviews two of the rescuers

Melanie Lawson interviews rescuers of Baby Jessica

Rescuers brought in heavy drilling equipment and carefully dug another shaft parallel to the pipe where Jessica was stuck.

It took 58 hours, but finally on the night of Oct. 16, Jessica was safely pulled from the well.

Jessica suffered a cut to her head and later had to have a toe amputated because of infection. Now, a mother with children of her own, Jessica is said to have no first-hand memory of the event.