Boy (5) freed by firefighters after getting trapped in underground pipe
A five-year-old boy is recovering in hospital after he was trapped in a pipe and had to be dug out by fire crews.
The youngster, who sustained only minor injuries, was left stuck in the pipe for about 30 minutes with only his head and shoulders above the ground before he was safely freed by firefighters.
The alarm was raised at around 5.30pm yesterday when emergency services were alerted to the incident at Brookfields, in Shannon, Co Clare.
An ambulance and gardaí responded to the incident initially however, despite the best efforts of paramedics, they were unable to free the boy from the pipe and requested assistance from the fire service.
It is understood that one of the child's legs bent backwards after he accidentally stepped into the pipe and this left him wedged inside the pipe and unable to move.
Three units of the fire brigade from Shannon town attended the scene.
On arrival, fire service personnel could only see the child's head and shoulders above the ground.
They erected a protective screen around the scene as they decided how best to release the boy.
Fire crews used shovels to dig earth from around the pipe and were then able to remove the pipe in sections.
Once free, the young boy was handed into the care of National Ambulance Service paramedics to be assessed and treated.
As a precaution, he was brought to University Hospital Limerick for treatment for what are believed to be minor injuries.
"This family is not from here but have lived here for a while.
"They're lovely. I don't remember noticing that hole there before so I wasn't aware it was an issue. Luckily it wasn't deeper," one local said.
"Kids play in there all the time. I don't know how it didn't happen before.
"The emergency services were very professional and just got on with it. Thank God the young fella is all right."
Meanwhile, fire crews made the hole safe by filling it with sand.