Berkshire

Mother rescues 'petrified' daughter, 4, after manhole fall

Manhole
Image caption Saffron Walker's daughter Evelyn fell in a 6ft-deep (1.82m) manhole in Abbots Road

A mother was forced to rescue her "petrified" four-year-old daughter when she fell in a manhole near her school.

Saffron Walker said her daughter, Evelyn, was left "clinging" to the top of the 6ft-deep (1.82m) drain in Burghfield, Berkshire on Wednesday.

The manhole cover was damaged but West Berkshire Council said it was not clear how it had happened.

Miss Walker said she had not received an apology. The authority said it had made the area safe.

'Traumatic'

Miss Walker said she had parked her car in Abbots Road to take her daughter to school, when the girl walked over the manhole on a patch of grass near the road.

"It was so traumatic - she was inside the drain and clinging on to the top of it," she said.

"I just knew I had to get her out. If she had fallen down I would have had to have called the fire brigade to get her out - her coat stopped her falling.

"She had a very lucky escape. It was horrible to see her petrified."

Evelyn was left with cuts and bruises and had since had a nightmare, her mother said.

Image caption The four-year-old escaped with cuts and bruises

Miss Walker said although she had been in contact with the council following the fall she had not yet to received an apology.

"Evelyn said I need to find the person who broke the drain and put them on the naughty step to say sorry to her," she added.

A spokesman for West Berkshire Council said: "The council made the area around the manhole safe as soon as they were made aware of the incident.

"It is currently unclear how the damage to the manhole cover occurred, however, we have instructed our contractor to barrier the area off until we are able to make a full repair."

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