Author Topic: The moment a manhole cover COLLAPSED under 18-month-old toddler who fell ....  (Read 131 times)

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10848455/Mothers-horror-18-month-old-toddler-falls-20-feet-sewage-drain.html

The moment a manhole cover COLLAPSED under 18-month-old toddler who fell five feet down sewage drain to his mother's horror before she jumped in to save him from river of human waste

    Amy Blyth, 23, was strolling with son, Theo Prior, when he disappeared through drain cover as it flipped over
    CCTV footage showed terrifying moment the youngster disappeared on Sunday afternoon in Tenterden, Kent
    Theo was taken to the William Harvey Hospital and where medics diagnosed him with mild concussion
    Southern Water have launched an investigation into incident to establish cause and apologised to family

By Kaya Terry For Mailonline

Published: 09:33, 24 May 2022 | Updated: 12:54, 24 May 2022

A terrified mother has revealed she will 'never mentally recover' after she watched her 18-month-old toddler fell five feet down a sewage drain in horror.  Amy Blyth, 23, was strolling with her son, Theo Prior, when he disappeared through a drain cover as it flipped over and then closed on top of him on Sunday afternoon.  The footage, captured on CCTV from a neighbouring house, showed the moment the quick-thinking personal trainer jumped into the drain to rescue the tot and quickly plucked him from a river of human waste in Tenterden, Kent.  The mother-of-one stood on ledges at the side of the sewer to reach down to her toddler son who had fallen to the very bottom.  Luckily, she was able to grab hold of him and lift him out but his clothes were left covered in human waste.  Describing the 'horror film' moment, Ms Blyth said: 'My first thought was "Oh my God, he's dead.'''

The incident happened on a public pavement and Southern Water have since apologised to the family and said they are 'taking the matter very seriously'.  She added: 'I yanked the drain lid out, and I just saw him down there, screaming my name. There was sewage up to his knees.  I jumped down the drain, but it's not big enough for me to bend over to grab him. I had to sort of arch my body to grab him and pull him up.  I don't know how I did it. My body went in ways I've never bent before, just to get him out of that drain.  It was so deep you couldn't see my head from the ground, and I wasn't even on the floor.  Just as I pulled him up I think someone flushed a chain because we were soaked with I think, possibly, wee. Our clothes are absolutely disgusting.'

The terrified mum rushed the little boy - who is said to have swallowed some sewer water to Ashford's William Harvey Hospital, where medics diagnosed him with mild concussion, but x-rays revealed he miraculously got away without a broken bone.  Ms Blyth, said: 'It could have ended up so much worse. If he'd gone down head first, I don't even know if he would be here.  It makes me feel sick to think of it. It's an absolute nightmare I'm petrified of drains now. I still feel really shaken from it. I just can't really get over it.  He literally went straight to the bottom, and I thought I was going to lose him. It was actually like a horror film.'

She added: 'We were just walking out for him to go to his dad's house. I saw the drain was a little bit loose, but I didn't realise what level it was loose.  He ran to the drain, stood on it, and just fell the whole way through. And then the drain lid shut on top of him.'

The personal trainer said: 'Just as I pulled him up I think someone flushed a chain because we were soaked with I think, possibly, wee. Our clothes are absolutely disgusting'

The personal trainer said: 'Just as I pulled him up I think someone flushed a chain because we were soaked with I think, possibly, wee. Our clothes are absolutely disgusting'

Ms Blyth said she dreads to think what might have happened had a child fallen through the drain cover unseen.  She added: 'If he'd been on his own, or if it had been another kid on their own, we wouldn't have found him.  We wouldn't have known where they'd gone. You couldn't even hear him because it's sound-proof.  He could have fallen down and I'd have gone running round the block trying to find him, not in a drain.'

Theo is now home and doing well, but Ms Blyth complained to Southern Water and said she 'needs answers' as she believes the drain cover has been faulty for some time.  Writing in a post on Facebook, she added: 'I mentally will never ever recover from this, my baby now is screaming when leaving my side.'

Describing the 'horror film' moment, Ms Blyth said: 'My first thought was "Oh my God, he's dead''.  I will not give up until we get an answer as to why a drain was left so dangerously.  I will fight every day to get what Theo deserves, I will now focus on ensuring mine and Theo's happiness is a priority.'

It is understood Southern Water is working to establish who is responsible for the drain and manhole.  Around four investigators were seen in the area yesterday looking into the cause of the accident.  A Southern Water spokesperson said: 'We are aware of a situation involving a child and an open manhole.  This is clearly an upsetting situation for those involved and our team is on-site. A dedicated customer liaison officer has been assigned to support the family.  We are taking this matter very seriously and our first priority was to make the area safe. Next steps are to understand exactly what happened.'