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Boy, 3, survives 140ft waterfall plummet at Pistyll Rhaeadr

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe boy and his aunt climbed two thirds up the waterfall

A three-year-old boy and his aunt are said to be lucky to be alive after falling while trying to climb the side of Wales' highest waterfall.

The child, from Liverpool, fell about 43m (140ft) into the pool at the bottom of the Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant, Powys, on Sunday.

Witnesses said it was a "miracle" he survived with just a scrape on his cheek.

A tree branch broke his aunt's fall.

Phil Facey, who runs the nearby Pistyll Rhaeadr Restaurant and Tearooms, said the boy's aunt had tried to grab him as he plummeted towards the pool.

"The waterfall is 240ft from top to bottom," he said.

"On the left hand side is a very nasty scree slope, with no footpath.

"Don't ask me why, but the aunt - who's about 35 - and her nephew decided to climb it. They got half way to two thirds up, to a ledge."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe waterfall is 240ft (73m) in height

Mr Facey said another visitor, concerned for the pair's safety, told them to get down, but the boy fell.

He added: "The young lad flew through the air, about 120 to 140ft, straight into the waterfall. There's rock all the way down but he didn't hit the sides, just went straight into the pool.

"As he fell, his aunt went to grab him and she fell as well.

"She fell on to a lonely branch, and ended up there."

'They should be dead'

Mr Facey did not witness the fall, but rushed to the scene when he "heard the screams".

He said the boy was pulled from the pool, and the aunt was helped down to safety, adding: "As we got the young lad through the crowds there was a silence and people were holding their arms out trying to touch this lad. It was quite beautiful and strange.

"It wasn't until about five minutes afterwards I thought 'this lad should be dead and his aunt should be dead'.

"Things don't happen that way - two people falling and both of them having a miraculous escape."

Mr Facey said the pair were taken to the tearooms and an air ambulance arrived within 23 minutes.

"They brought the lad in here. He had a tiny scratch on his cheek. That was the only thing he suffered," he added.

"The doctor looked up at the waterfall and said it was a 'miracle'."

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed it was called at about 13:00 GMT on Sunday and said a boy was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Related Topics

  • Welsh Ambulance Service
  • Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant