Firefighter warns of hazardous pit after girl becomes trapped

The quarry at the end of Back Lane in Badwell Ash ANL-140416-103312009
The quarry at the end of Back Lane in Badwell Ash ANL-140416-103312009
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A firefighter has warned of an abandoned pit’s ‘hidden hazards’ after a 12-year-old girl became trapped up to her waist in deep mud.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service station commander Steve Mableson said that if the young girl had been alone there is ‘absolutely no way’ she could have released herself.

Emergency services were called to a former gravel pit in Back Street, Badwell Ash, at 7.11pm on Monday.

Volunteer doctor Andy Mason, from Suffolk Accident and Rescue Service (SARS), was among those who attended. He said: “I have being doing this for 40 years and I have never dealt with anything like that before.

“Some children had been playing in the disused pit. The girl got into difficulties and slowly started to disappear into the mud.

“She was extremely brave. She did not cry. She did exactly what the fire service asked her to do.

“They were able to pull her out to a great cheer from all the people there.”

Mr Mableson said that before emergency services had arrived the girl’s father had spent about half-an-hour trying unsuccessfully to release her.

Firefighters used a specialised air lance to pump compressed air between the girl and the mud, which allowed them to slowly free her.

The rescue took the fire service about 20 minutes.

Mr Mableson said that it was rare occurrence for a person to become stuck in mud in this part of the country and warned children not to use the pit as a playground.

He said: “There are some areas at the bottom of the pit which are wet. This created a very sticky muddy solution - the suction was very powerful.

“The pit is not a playground – it houses hidden hazards and children should avoid the area.”

After being released, the young girl was examined by medical professionals.

Dr Mason said that the suction of the mud pit had drawn heat from her leaving her cold and bruised, however she did not require hospital treatment.

Badwell Ash resident, Helen Flack, witnessed the rescue.

She said: “The fire service did an absolutely fantastic job, they kept her calm and had her laughing and smiling. They were fantastic.”

Mrs Flack said that a couple of inches of water had sat above the mud and that it simply looked like a shallow puddle.