WALTHAMSTOW: Parents demand explanation after toddler falls down manhole (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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WALTHAMSTOW: Parents demand explanation after toddler falls down manhole
Ryan Greenway with parents Richard and Linda and brother Kieran by the manhole in Lloyd Park, Walthamstow
A TODDLER had a lucky escape after falling five feet down a manhole in a park.
Ryan Hanley Greenway, two, fell through the cover and into the hole in Lloyd Park, Walthamstow, while walking with his dad Richard and brother Kieran.
A man was able to reach in and rescue the terrified tot, who was wearing a safety helmet because he had been riding his scooter.
The metal cover fell into the hole after the boy, but he escaped with just minor bruising.
Mr Greenway, 37, said: “I was walking out of the park and Ryan was behind me.
“Kieran went ahead so I told him to stop and he stopped at the gate.
“At that point I heard someone shout 'No' and when I turned round my boy had gone.
“I saw a man reaching down and realised what had happened.
“He was there one minute and the next he was gone.” His relieved parents say they incident could have been a lot more serious and are demanding answers.
Mum Linda Hanley, 29, said: “I don't know how badly it has affected him, because he is only two so he can't really talk about it properly,” she said.
“But he keeps mentioning it so it has obviously bothered him.”
Ms Hanley said she has contacted Waltham Forest Council to find out how this could have happened, but so far no-one has been able to give an explanation.
She also said she has learned that manhole covers aren't routinely inspected, unless somebody reports a problem.
She added: “This could have been a lot worse. We want to know how this happened and to ensure it doesn't happen again with more severe consequences.
“It seems they are just waiting for a serious injury before they do anything.”
The incident happened on Saturday, May 22 and the manhole cover has since been replaced.
The Guardian is awaiting a comment from Waltham Forest Council.
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