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Young child injured in highway accident when he fell down an open manhole

A six year old boy has been badly bruised, sustained cuts across his back and was emotionally traumatised after falling down an open manhole. The child was rescued by a passer-by and then taken to hospital for further treatment which included antibiotics to prevent a potential blood clot on the lung.

A neighbour claimed that the council had been made aware that some of the local children had been lifting the covers off the manholes and not replacing them and that the council had sent inspectors who had investigated the situation and signed them off as safe.

The mother of the young boy said,

“My child, who is only six, was traumatised and something needs to be done.

“These should be secured so only the council can lift the lids off.

“My son is full of bandages and is now home but how long before this happens again to another?”

“He was walking backwards talking to his friends when he fell in, not knowing the lid had been lifted.

“A few of the children were trying to get him out, but a lady walking her dog saw him gripping on and helped. She took him to my mum and explained what had happened.

“My mum took him to hospital with his dad where he was kept in until around 3am because they feared a blood clot would form on his lung.

“The doctors at …… Hospital were fantastic, but they did say if it had have been just a fraction to the left he could have broken his back or worse.

A Council spokesperson said: “The council was made aware of the incident …… and an inspector was immediately sent to the location.

“We covered the manhole to ensure the area was safe and have since returned to seal the manhole to prevent it being tampered with.

“Upon inspecting our records, they show that the manhole belongs to United Utilities and we have reported the issue directly to them.”

A United Utilities spokesperson said:

“Inquiries are at an early stage as to how the child fell into the manhole.”

A highway is the collective term used to describe roads and pavements and Local Authorities have obligations under the Highways Act to carry out regular assessments and repairs of roads and pavements to ensure they are safe and fit for purpose.

If a Local Authority has not taken reasonable steps to initiate assessments and repairs for ‘dangerous’ potholes or other surface damage to highways such as open manholes and someone is injured as a result, then the Council could be deemed negligent in breach of its duty of care.

If you are involved in an accident either as a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist as a result of ‘dangerous’ road conditions such as deep potholes, open manholes in the road or pavement, then contact our specialist slip and trip solicitors now.

Slip and trip accidents can occur anywhere from the workplace, schools, hospitals or playgrounds to sports centres, restaurants, pavements or roads(public and private). Examples of ‘slip and trip’ injury claims and compensation successfully pursued by Thorneycroft personal injury solicitors include:

  • Injuries to children in playgrounds
  • Injuries suffered in sports centres, as a result of wet floors or faulty equipment
  • Slip or trip in a supermarket
  • Injuries to tenants, caused by defective premises
  • Injuries caused by slipping on wet floors

We offer a free initial interview in order to review your specific circumstances and assess the viability of your slip or trip personal injury claim.

To speak to one of our specialist team call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1979 345, or complete our simple enquiry form and we can call you back at a time to suit you.