Toddler dodges death after campsite ignores warnings

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A TODDLER was lucky to escape serious injury after he tumbled into a drain when a manhole cracked beneath him at a campsite.

Two-year-old Finley Noble and his family were camping at Spiers House campsite, near Pickering, when the incident occurred on Good Friday.

Parents Chris and Tara Noble, of Abbots Road in Whitby, witnessed the incident and the toddler’s mum said: “Behind where we were pitched there’s a row of taps and my son was stood there.

“All of a sudden he just disappeared, the concrete slab he was stood on had cracked and he went down. My husband ran straight over and Finn was stood in water and waste up to his knees.

“The concrete had him pinned up to the wall and the other was still dangling over his head, had that come down it would have been fatal.

“It’s just not worth thinking about. My husband was raging.”

The toddler was pulled out of the hole by his father with the assistance of a scout leader who was staying in a nearby tent.

A spokesman for the owners of the campsite, Forest Holidays, said: “The boy was taken to the local accident and emergency and was later seen playing again with his brother.

“The family then stayed for the rest of their holiday duration.

“Forest Holidays has taken immediate action to ensure the manhole is safe for all its customers.”

Gavin Owen, general manager at Spiers House, added: “Forest Holidays is keen to emphasise to all its customers that safety is taken very seriously and every effort is made to ensure the safe enjoyment of all its customers whilst on holiday with us.

“We regret this incident and have apologised to the young boy and his family and trust our actions will encourage them to stay again with us at a future date.”

Although Forest Holidays claim to have taken immediate action, the toddler’s family would disagree, as Finley’s grandfather Peter Horbury claimed he first contacted the company a year ago with concerns about safety on the site.

In the letter Mr Horbury wrote: “It is our concern that if you do not heed what we have witnessed then a serious accident will occur.

“The concrete lids over the drains are ill-fitting and a child could have put a foot in the gap.

“A 100mm brown pipe set vertically in the ground had no cover and was ripe for even an adult to walk into.”

The incident was reported to the police and Ryedale and District council.

Steven Richmond, health and environment manager for Ryedale District Council, said: “We have been notified of the incident and are currently investigating the matter and as such are unable to comment further at this stage.”

Mrs Noble said that she had received a bottle of wine from the site management by way of an apology, but that they were not satisfied.

She added: “What use does a two-year-old have with a bottle of wine?

“We have thought about suing.

“It’s just the thought that it could have been fatal.

“They need to learn their lesson and we will definitely take it further.”