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Loose cover tipped my 3-year-old into the drain

Reported via mobile in the Manhole category anonymously at 16:04, Friday 7 October 2022

Sent to Oxfordshire County Council less than a minute later

My 3-year-old was walking along the grassy bank at the side of the road. He stepped on a corner of this cover and it tipped/rotated along the diagonal (like a swing bin lid) and he dropped straight inside. The lid closed after him. It was lucky I saw it happen because otherwise he'd have just completely disappeared and I wouldn't necessarily have thought to look underneath the drain cover.

As the cover was completely loose, I was able to run over, lift it off and reach in to get him. Again, we were lucky it was only about 3ft deep. He clearly bashed his face on the way down, as he has a severe cut inside his lip and a large egg/bruise on his forehead. He was, understandably, incredibly upset and we were both incredibly shaken.

I have no idea how long this cover has been completely loose, but my 3-year-old cannot be the only child who runs up and down this bank on the way to the canal. It is incredibly dangerous. We are lucky he "only" bumped his face and got wet; he could easily have broken something or, heaven forbid, I may not have seen him fall and he could have started crawling inside the drain as the cover closed on him instantly.

I need this issue addressing immediately from a public safety point of view, and also a discussion about my son actually being injured from falling due to negligence.

Council ref: ENQ22935155

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  • Thank you for your enquiry. This issue has been passed onto the relevant team for investigation.

    State changed to: Investigating

    Posted by Oxfordshire County Council at 16:05, Friday 7 October 2022

  • This report is not the responsibility of Oxfordshire County Council. This has however been raised for an urgent make safe by us while the report is sent to and assessed by Thames Water. This was raised to them as a high/urgent issue and will hopefully be looked into asap. Kind regards

    State changed to: Investigation complete

    Posted by Oxfordshire County Council at 14:58, Monday 17 October 2022

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