Mother rescues toddler after he falls through broken manhole cover into sewage drain

·4-min read

Watch: Mother saves toddler after he falls through manhole cover into sewage drain

This is the terrifying moment a quick-thinking mother rescued her 18-month-old son after he fell 5ft through a broken manhole cover into a sewage drain.

Amy Blyth, 23, was walking with her son, Theo Prior, in Ashford, Kent, at about 9am on Sunday when he disappeared through the faulty cover.

The cover flipped over and closed on top of him for a frightening split second, before Ms Blyth ripped it off and jumped in after her son.

She stood on ledges on either side of the sewer and managed to reach down and grab Theo, who had fallen to the very bottom of the drain.

(SWNS)
Mother Amy Blyth reaches out as her son Theo Prior falls through a faulty manhole cover into a sewage drain. (SWNS)

She then hauled him up to safety, but the ordeal left him covered in human waste.

The entire shocking rescue was captured on a neighbour's CCTV.

The toddler was left concussed after the 5ft fall into the drain and was calling out for his mother.

"My first thought was, 'Oh my God, he's dead'," said Blyth.

"I yanked the drain lid out, and I just saw him down there, screaming my name. There was sewage up to his knees.

CCTV of Amy Blyth and her son Theo, who fell down a drain in Ashford, Kent.  A toddler was left concussed after falling 5ft down a drain shaft with a suspected faulty manhole cover that gave way as he walked down the street with his mum.  See SWNS story SWNNdrain.  Mum Amy Blyth was strolling with little Theo on Sunday morning when the tot disappeared through the drain cover, as it closed on top of him.  The 23-year-old yanked off the metal cover and lept down the shaft to lift the youngster out of the deep hole.  Poor Theo was left covered in sewage and calling out for his mother after the nightmare accident at about 9.00am in Ashford, Kent, near where Ms Blyth's mum lives.  CCTV on a nearby house captured the bone-chilling moment the little boy disappeared from view and Amy sprang into action to grab him from the sewer water.
The terrifying moment the manhole cover slammed shut on Amy Blyth's 18-month-old son, Theo Prior. (SWNS)
Amy Blyth and her son Theo, who fell down a drain in Ashford, Kent.  A toddler was left concussed after falling 5ft down a drain shaft with a suspected faulty manhole cover that gave way as he walked down the street with his mum.  See SWNS story SWNNdrain.  Mum Amy Blyth was strolling with little Theo on Sunday morning when the tot disappeared through the drain cover, as it closed on top of him.  The 23-year-old yanked off the metal cover and lept down the shaft to lift the youngster out of the deep hole.  Poor Theo was left covered in sewage and calling out for his mother after the nightmare accident at about 9.00am in Ashford, Kent, near where Ms Blyth's mum lives.  CCTV on a nearby house captured the bone-chilling moment the little boy disappeared from view and Amy sprang into action to grab him from the sewer water.
Amy Blyth and her son, Theo Prior, , who fell down a drain in Ashford, Kent. (SWNS)

"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."

Read more: Children airlifted to hospital after being hit by school bus

Blyth, a personal trainer, said she emerged from the drain "screaming for help", while Theo was in an apparent state of shock and "wasn't really making a noise".

She brought her son to Ashford's William Harvey Hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with mild concussion, but X-rays revealed he escaped without any broken bones.

"It could have ended up so much worse," said Blyth. "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.

The drain in Ashford, Kent, that Amy Blyth's son Theo, fell down.  A toddler was left concussed after falling 5ft down a drain shaft with a suspected faulty manhole cover that gave way as he walked down the street with his mum.  See SWNS story SWNNdrain.  Mum Amy Blyth was strolling with little Theo on Sunday morning when the tot disappeared through the drain cover, as it closed on top of him.  The 23-year-old yanked off the metal cover and lept down the shaft to lift the youngster out of the deep hole.  Poor Theo was left covered in sewage and calling out for his mother after the nightmare accident at about 9.00am in Ashford, Kent, near where Ms Blyth's mum lives.  CCTV on a nearby house captured the bone-chilling moment the little boy disappeared from view and Amy sprang into action to grab him from the sewer water.
The drain in Ashford, Kent, that Amy Blyth's son, Theo Prior, fell down. (SWNS)
Amy Blyth's son Theo, who fell down a drain in Ashford, Kent.  A toddler was left concussed after falling 5ft down a drain shaft with a suspected faulty manhole cover that gave way as he walked down the street with his mum.  See SWNS story SWNNdrain.  Mum Amy Blyth was strolling with little Theo on Sunday morning when the tot disappeared through the drain cover, as it closed on top of him.  The 23-year-old yanked off the metal cover and lept down the shaft to lift the youngster out of the deep hole.  Poor Theo was left covered in sewage and calling out for his mother after the nightmare accident at about 9.00am in Ashford, Kent, near where Ms Blyth's mum lives.  CCTV on a nearby house captured the bone-chilling moment the little boy disappeared from view and Amy sprang into action to grab him from the sewer water.
Amy Blyth's son Theo Prior was covered in human waste after falling into the sewage drain. (SWNS)

"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."

Blyth has complained to Southern Water and said she "needs answers" as she believes the drain cover has been faulty for some time.

CCTV of Amy Blyth and her son Theo, who fell down a drain in Ashford, Kent.  A toddler was left concussed after falling 5ft down a drain shaft with a suspected faulty manhole cover that gave way as he walked down the street with his mum.  See SWNS story SWNNdrain.  Mum Amy Blyth was strolling with little Theo on Sunday morning when the tot disappeared through the drain cover, as it closed on top of him.  The 23-year-old yanked off the metal cover and lept down the shaft to lift the youngster out of the deep hole.  Poor Theo was left covered in sewage and calling out for his mother after the nightmare accident at about 9.00am in Ashford, Kent, near where Ms Blyth's mum lives.  CCTV on a nearby house captured the bone-chilling moment the little boy disappeared from view and Amy sprang into action to grab him from the sewer water.
Amy Blyth rips off the manhole cover to save her son. (SWNS)
CCTV of Amy Blyth and her son Theo, who fell down a drain in Ashford, Kent.  A toddler was left concussed after falling 5ft down a drain shaft with a suspected faulty manhole cover that gave way as he walked down the street with his mum.  See SWNS story SWNNdrain.  Mum Amy Blyth was strolling with little Theo on Sunday morning when the tot disappeared through the drain cover, as it closed on top of him.  The 23-year-old yanked off the metal cover and lept down the shaft to lift the youngster out of the deep hole.  Poor Theo was left covered in sewage and calling out for his mother after the nightmare accident at about 9.00am in Ashford, Kent, near where Ms Blyth's mum lives.  CCTV on a nearby house captured the bone-chilling moment the little boy disappeared from view and Amy sprang into action to grab him from the sewer water.
Mother Amy Blyth jumped into the drain to rescue her 18-month-old son. (SWNS)
CCTV of Amy Blyth and her son Theo, who fell down a drain in Ashford, Kent.  A toddler was left concussed after falling 5ft down a drain shaft with a suspected faulty manhole cover that gave way as he walked down the street with his mum.  See SWNS story SWNNdrain.  Mum Amy Blyth was strolling with little Theo on Sunday morning when the tot disappeared through the drain cover, as it closed on top of him.  The 23-year-old yanked off the metal cover and lept down the shaft to lift the youngster out of the deep hole.  Poor Theo was left covered in sewage and calling out for his mother after the nightmare accident at about 9.00am in Ashford, Kent, near where Ms Blyth's mum lives.  CCTV on a nearby house captured the bone-chilling moment the little boy disappeared from view and Amy sprang into action to grab him from the sewer water.
CCTV shows Amy Blyth pulling her son Theo Prior out of the drain. (SWNS)
CCTV of Amy Blyth and her son Theo, who fell down a drain in Ashford, Kent.  A toddler was left concussed after falling 5ft down a drain shaft with a suspected faulty manhole cover that gave way as he walked down the street with his mum.  See SWNS story SWNNdrain.  Mum Amy Blyth was strolling with little Theo on Sunday morning when the tot disappeared through the drain cover, as it closed on top of him.  The 23-year-old yanked off the metal cover and lept down the shaft to lift the youngster out of the deep hole.  Poor Theo was left covered in sewage and calling out for his mother after the nightmare accident at about 9.00am in Ashford, Kent, near where Ms Blyth's mum lives.  CCTV on a nearby house captured the bone-chilling moment the little boy disappeared from view and Amy sprang into action to grab him from the sewer water.
Amy Blyth clings on to her son Theo after saving him from the sewage drain. (SWNS)

"My little boy shouldn't have fallen through a drain," she said. "It's not acceptable. We need some answers to why it wasn't fixed."

Southern Water said it is investigating. A spokesman 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."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting