Man, 79, rescued after getting trapped chest-deep in Shrewsbury manhole

An elderly man was rescued by emergency crews after becoming trapped chest-deep in a manhole in Shrewsbury.

The 79-year-old man fell into an exposed manhole in Hereford Road, on Monday morning and had been there for some 40 minutes before he attracted the attention of a passer-by.

Marc Millward, a duty group manager at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The gentleman managed to summon the attention of a passer-by but they were unable to pull him out so they called the fire service.

“We went out to assist and we managed to support him in getting out and getting attention.”

Mr Millward said the fire service had called for an ambulance to assist but they were “advised that there was a wait”.

“We were able to get information out of the male and and contact his wife,” he added.

Mr Millward said the fire service was able to make sure the man was “pointed in the right direction” of getting to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital for a check-up after receiving some first aid from crews.

He confirmed that the manhole had been cordoned off, the lid replaced and the exact location of the incident was reported to Shropshire Council.

Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service scrambled two appliances, including the rescue tender, from Shrewsbury and Wellington to Hereford Road, in Shrewsbury at 10.07am on Monday.

A fire service spokesperson said: “Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service were called at around 10.10am, to reports of a man trapped in a manhole on Hereford Road in Shrewsbury.

“Once he was released the attending officer consulted with the ambulance service and determined that as the man was uninjured, he did not need emergency care. However, as he did appear confused and could not name his next of kin the officer felt it was best to drive him to hospital as a precautionary measure.

Group Manager Marc Millward said: “On this occasion our officer carried out a dynamic risk assessment and although the gentleman was not injured it was felt it was the right thing to do to ensure he was checked over.

“We feel that the crews and officer in attendance made the right decision based on the vulnerabilities of the man involved.”

By David Tooley