Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Toddler saved after falling down 150ft pipe

A father has saved his daughter after she fell down a storm drain during the weekend floods.

The three-year-old was paddling in shallow water when she suddenly vanished in County Durham.

She was sucked 150 feet through a pipe, and dumped into the River Wear.

Her dad realised what had happened and managed to run across a playing field, jump in and reach her.

Sgt Keith Wardle, of Durham Police, said: "Fortunately when the girl and her dog disappeared her dad quickly realised what was happening.

"He ran to the river bank and plucked her from the swollen river."

Firefighter Steve Hagar said: "If there'd been a grate on the other end of the pipe or the girl had been a bit bigger she would have been stuck underground.

"Both the girl and her dad who dived into the river to rescue her are lucky to be alive.

"Because of the recent rainfall the river would have been very high."

Their dog, which also went down the drain, is still missing.

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