Man relieves man-hole ordeal
A MAN who had to be rescued by fire crews after he became trapped in a six-foot hole outside his Suffolk home has spoken of his ordeal.Paul Fisher, of Slades Close in Glemsford, fell down an open man-hole on Tuesday night.
A MAN who had to be rescued by fire crews after he became trapped in a six-foot hole outside his Suffolk home has spoken of his ordeal.
Paul Fisher, of Slades Close in Glemsford, fell down an open man-hole on Tuesday night.
The incident has sparked investigations to determine who is responsible for the underground chamber - which had been left without a cover for the past six months and was an “accident waiting to happen”.
Mr Fisher, 37, had to be taken to hospital as a result of the incident, which left him with a cracked knee, a pulled hamstring, and grazes on his face.
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“It was about 10pm and I had gone outside to put something in the bin,” said Mr Fisher. “There are usually wooden boards over the hole but it was dark and they must have been moved, because the next thing I knew I was in the hole.
“My right leg was completely inside, right up to my groin, and my left leg was still on the pavement. My face hit the floor and I was in a lot of pain.”
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Luckily, Mr Fisher's neighbour, Darren Crissell, heard his friend's cries for help and rushed outside. After being released from the hole by fire crews, Mr Fisher was attended to by paramedics before being taken to West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.
“I just could not get out of the hole, so all I could do was shout for my friend to come and help me,” said Mr Fisher, who has lived in Slades Close for the past five years.
“The man-hole cover was loosened by people driving over it, and eventually it just came off completely.
“It is a big hole, and a lot of children play around here, so it doesn't bear thinking about what could have happened. It could have been a lot worse.”
The hole, which is around 1.5ft by 2ft, has now been given a new cover by Suffolk housing charity Solo Housing - which has tenants all over the region including Mr Fisher and some of his neighbours.
The association is now trying to determine who is responsible for the man-hole cover, and plans to bill them for the cost of the metal lid.
Chief Executive John Durrant said: “Although we provide management for some of the flats, we are not responsible for services outside of the building.
“But we feel we have a duty of care for our tenants and it is a concern that one of them has been hurt in this way.”
Anglian Water said the hole could have been used for anything, from water and sewage to an inspection chamber, but confirmed this particular one was not its responsibility.
“We do have drains in that area, but the nearest one in Slades Close is about 20 metres away (from the one Mr Fisher fell down),” said spokesman Dan Baker.
“We will, however, send someone to investigate the matter.”
Suffolk County Council said it was difficult to determine the owner of the man-hole, but said it would send an inspector out to investigate.
“We only own under half of all man-holes in Suffolk, and it may be the case that Slades Close has not been adopted by the county council,” a spokeswoman said.