Emergency services were called to a park in a southern Sydney suburb on February 23 at around 19:20 following reports that a child had fallen down a drain.
Public accounts have been inconsistent in relation to the victim’s age – with some media outlets listing the child as aged between six and ten years old.
Others say that the police were initially told that the victim was a baby, only to arrive on the scene to find a boy well into his primary-school years.
According to official releases a boy was standing on metal plates covering the stormwater collection point in Tavistock Reserve in South Hurstville when the protective coverings gave way.
He fell down a four metre drop to the bottom of the drain and is understood to have received some minor head injuries in his descent.
Luckily, the bottom of the stormwater channel was covered in wet silt and mud that came up to the child’s waist – this may have prevented further, more serious injuries from occurring.
However the boy was trapped in the damp tunnel for around 45 minutes before emergency services were on hand to start their retrieval efforts.
Members of the NSW Fire and Rescue Service were able to stabilise the metal plating shortly after arriving on the scene and were soon in a position that allowed them to set up a ladder.
This allowed paramedics to descend into the drain and check on the young victim, providing him with first aid before bringing him back up to the surface.
It is also understood that a rescue helicopter attended the scene ready to render further assistance – however the mild injuries sustained did not require their speedy services.
The child was taken to the nearby Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick for further medical examination to establish the full extent of his injuries.
In this case the young victim was in a position where he could have suffered severe and life-changing damage.
There are incidents where similar falls have caused extensive spinal damage that results in loss of sensation or mobility, while others have been subject to brain damage and loss of cognitive function.
For these victims and their families, a personal injury lawyer is able to examine the details surrounding an accident and provide advice on whether they may be able to lodge a claim for compensation.
The funds obtained in this manner can be used to provide ongoing medical treatments and rehabilitative therapies, as well as live-in carers if necessary.