A man had a lucky escape after he fell down a drain that was left uncovered by Lewisham Council for eight days.
Shaun Tripp, 41, from Downham, was parking his car on one of the side roads off Bromley Road when he saw a wooden pallet hanging off the side of the pavement. He jumped out of his car to move it.
Tripp said: “I picked up the pallet and fell straight down the drain. It went up to my shoulders and I was in all the horrible sewage. I’m quite a big lad and I’m quite wide. I managed to catch myself with my arms and pull myself up.”
Tripp suffered bruising to his sides and a deep cut to his leg, which he says went down to the bone and required stitches. He has also been signed off work for 3 weeks and requires a nurse to look after and dress his wound.
His mother, Pamela Tripp, 63, was with him at the time and witnessed the incident. She said: “I thought I was going to lose him it was like a horror thing. I thought he was going to die.”
She went back to the scene on numerous occasions and the hole remained uncovered until March 10. She says the council should have fixed the drain sooner.
She said: “I had fears thinking, ‘What if someone is down there and no one knows about it?’ Anybody skinnier would be straight down there. The hole was full of water. Imagine if a child or an older person fell down there. They would have drowned.”
Her son added: “It just needed a drain cover and it would save someone’s life”. He later reported the incident to Lewisham Council and has sent them a claim form.
A council spokeswoman said: “We are unfortunately unable to comment at this time, as this matter is currently being investigated by our staff.”