Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Girl, 5, plunges 12ft after falling through drain cover while walking to shops

A five-year-old girl was left "shoulder deep in water" and screaming in fear after plunging 12 feet down an open drain in a terrifying ordeal.

Daisy Bridge was on her way to the local shop with her dad Rob and siblings Shannon, 19 and Wesley, 9 on Friday, when a cast iron drain cover on their road suddenly gave way.

Dad Rob, who had run back to the house at the time after realising he'd forgotten his face mask, said he came out to the sound of his children screaming in the street.

He ran over and found Daisy down the hole shoulder-deep in water, with mud splattered across her face.

The incident happened in Aveling Drive, in Banks, Southport, on Friday.

Rob, 46, told the Liverpool Echo: "The four of us were going to the local shop – because there's gas works going on they're digging up all the road, (so) we had to cross over to the other side of the road.

"We literally walked six or seven houses down from our house and I realised I'd forgot my face mask.

"I ran back to the house and left the three kids stood there.

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"I went in the house for the mask and I could hear my son screaming 'It's Daisy, it's Daisy'."

Rob said his first thought was that she had been run over after he heard the screaming coming from outside.

The 46-year-old said: "My eldest daughter was screaming 'she's fallen down the drain, she's fallen down the drain.'

"I ran over and she was there looking up at me. She was shoulder deep in water and she had mud splattered on her face.

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"She was saying 'help me, get me out daddy I don't want to be down here.'

"There were metal ladders so I managed to climb down in to the drain and pick her up and get her out.

"A couple of fellas were walking past and came over. I passed her up and they helped me to get out."

Daisy's sister Shannon called an ambulance after the incident and Daisy was assessed for injuries over the phone.

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Thankfully Daisy was not seriously injured during the fall but suffered from bruising in several places and a sprained arm.

Rob said: "I don't think anything is broken. They have said to keep an eye on her arm and get it X-rayed next week if it doesn't improve.

"It's the psychological impact more than anything. My nine-year-old didn't sleep at all last night. He said all he can picture is her face down the drain.

"My eldest daughter was stood with her when it happened. They're all shaken up."

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Rob believes the drain was damaged by a wagon driving over it, causing the cover to give way when Daisy stood on it.

He said: "There's tyre marks on the grass verge right up to it. A wagon has driven over it and broken it, there's no two ways about it.

"These drains are not built to take the weight of a 40 tonne truck.

"My eldest daughter said she wasn't even jumping or dancing on it. She was just stood on it and she's fallen 12ft down it.

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"Those covers are cast iron, it's just lucky it didn't follow her down the hole. If it had gone through with her it would have killed her."

Rob covered up the hole with a board on Friday, with the help of a local workman.

They have also put cones around it to alert people, until it can be fixed properly.

Rob is keen for the incident to be investigated further and said the council has been informed.

Rob said: "We were saying if it had been my son going to the shop on his own nobody would have known he was down there and he wouldn't have been able to get out.

"It was on the other side of the road and we've not got any street lights. It wasn't dark at the time but if it was someone could have died down there.

"The possibilities are endless of what could have happened.

"We've said to the kids don't focus on the negatives we have been really lucky.

"It could have been so much worse."

The ECHO has approached Lancashire County Council for comment.

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