New-born kittens rescued from drain
Three new-born kittens have been rescued by firefighters after getting stuck down a drain.
It is thought that the two black and white kittens and one tabby fell down a four inch hole almost immediately after their mother gave birth to them.
Firefighters were called to St John's Avenue in Braintree, Essex, yesterday morning and managed to free them by smashing up the concrete ground.
The RSPCA said the animals were found sitting freezing in cold sludge and may not have survived much longer.
RSPCA inspector Caroline Richardson said: "These gorgeous little animals are so tiny that they fell down this four inch hole and couldn't make their way out.
"The fire brigade were incredible in this rescue - I have never seen anything like it.
"They had to break pipes, and totally smash up the concrete floor, in order to reach the kittens.
"Another half an hour, and I think they would have died.
"They were just too young to survive such conditions."
One other black and white kitten avoided the fall.