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‘I am going to die here’: Man trapped in Romford drain tells his story

PUBLISHED: 15:43 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:19 16 February 2018

Pictured is David Miller, who was stuck down a sewer in Romford for several days. Photo Anthony Shannon.

Pictured is David Miller, who was stuck down a sewer in Romford for several days. Photo Anthony Shannon.

Antony Shannon

A man who was rescued from a drain in Romford, crawled for hours through the Romford sewer system, calling out desperately for help.

David Miller, 48 shared his horrifying experience with the Recorder, after he was rescued from a drain in Brentwood Road on Thursday, February 8.

David who has been homeless for some time, lives with his friend, Anthony Shannon, 44 at Hedingham Road, Barking.

On Wednesday, February at 9am, David left Anthony’s home to go to the chemists to pick up a prescription.

The next thing he remembers is a big bang and darkness.

David has no recollection of how he ended up in the surface water outfall beneath Brentwood Road.

Anthony told the Recorder: “It took him hours and hours to get out.

“He just remembers waking up in a dark place and the next thing he was crawling around screaming for help.

“He didn’t know where he was.”

Anthony explained that David crawled past many manholes before he reached Brentwood Road.

However, because of his broken heels and the heaviness of the manhole covers, David wasn’t able to lift them on his own and escape.

“He passed several, but he couldn’t open them, so he would go on to the next one and the next one. But with his legs in a bad way, his heels completely broken and smashed, he couldn’t do it,” said Anthony.

David said the worst part was trying to get out and thinking, “I am going to die in here”.

Anthony added: “I was really worried when I couldn’t find him, I called up a few hospitals and they wouldn’t tell me any details.

“This shouldn’t happen to people.

“It’s never happened before, he wasn’t even drinking. It makes me thing he may have been mugged.”

Police and residents rescued David from the drain after hearing his cries for help.

He was treated at the scene for leg injuries and for exposure to cold temperatures and water.

David entered a surface water system that carries rainwater from roads straight out to the River Rom, which means he was not in a foul sewer that carries waste from the toilets.

After a network engineer from Thames Water carried out assessments, it is believed he entered via a surface water outfall located on a new housing estate near South Street, Romford.

A police spokeswoman added: “It is hard to say if the victim has entered at that point. It is around a 8ft drop from the drop, and around 6ft drop from the bank.

“There is nothing to suggest at this moment in time, there was any malicious intent.”

A Thames Water spokeswoman said: “This man had a lucky escape. Entering a sewer is clearly very dangerous and not something anyone should attempt to do.”

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