Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bathroom destroyed to free trapped toddler

HE is not the first two-year-old to be curious about bathwater going down the drain, but he could be the first to destroy his parents' bathroom in the process.

Seth, from Bendigo in central Victoria, stuck two of his fingers into the bath drain to enjoy the feeling of water suction last night.

But the suction dragged his fingers in too much, they became stuck and it took the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and State Emergency Service six hours to free him.

Seth plugged his fingers in the drain at 8pm (AEST) and rescuers were called 30 minutes later, CFA fire officer Bruce Quarrier said.

"The hole was corroded so it turned when we tried to remove it, which caused pain to the young lad and we couldn't do much," he said.

"The crews had to work under the house and cut pipes away from there, so we could lift the bath up and get enough clearance.

"It has virtually destroyed the bathroom, we had to cut tiles off the wall to dismantle the bath."

Electric hacksaws were used first before the crews took Seth to Bendigo Base Hospital with the pipe and drain still attached.

Once there, they used hydraulic spreaders, similar to the jaws of life, and hacksaws to carefully free him.

"It was one of those incidents you get where there are no shortcuts," he said.

"The parents and grandparents were upset but there was no short way of doing it without causing injury.

"The boy was frightened at times, but was often laughing and in good spirits and came away with no cuts or bruises, just one blister."

So how did mum and dad feel about having to replace their bathroom?

"I think they were just happy to free him and I don't think he will do it again," he said.

Mr Quarrier said it felt like there was a "cast of thousands" there including family and relatives looking on.


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