What happened to the man trapped down Romford sewer rescued from drain by police?

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:48 14 February 2018

A man got trapped in the sewer in Brentwood Road, Romford, junction with George Street.

A man got trapped in the sewer in Brentwood Road, Romford, junction with George Street.


The rescue of a man from a drain by police, has led to further speculations about how he managed to enter the Romford sewer system.

Police were called to Brentwood Road at around 12.20pm to reports of a man trapped in a drain on Thursday, February 8.

Members of the public could hear someone shouting for help, and after a short time, it was discovered that the noise was coming from underground, namely the manhole cover on the junction of George Street.

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

The 48-year-old broke both his heels which are now in plaster.

Since then, officials and the Recorder have been attempting to piece together the story of what happened.

A man got trapped in the sewer in Brentwood Road, Romford, junction with George Street. A man got trapped in the sewer in Brentwood Road, Romford, junction with George Street.

However, because there is no CCTV footage, much of what can be devised is still speculation.

The man 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 said: “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.”

Ian Swann works at Reeves Electrical in Brentwood Road and he was one of the people to help the man from the drain.

He first heard cries of help when he was on his way to the post office, and tried to find where they coming from.

It wasn’t until an hour and a half later, after the police had been called that the man was rescued.

Ian told the Recorder: “I walked to one side of the road with the police office and we could hear, ‘help, help’. It was then that we realised it was coming from below.

“We got some crow bars and got him out from under the road.

“I don’t know how long he had been down there. He just wanted a fag and he wouldn’t talk to anyone until they gave him one.”

Following calls from the police, Thames Water checked their foul and surface water network to make sure there were no broken manholes that he could have fallen through.

This led them to believe that he climbed in through the outfall, which is about 4ft above the river and is fenced off.

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.”

Thames Water does not know how long he was in the sewer for, as this is the first time they heard of someone climbing into the surface water sewer network.

Are you this man? We at the Recorder would like to hear from you, please contact

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 14:59

Two women who embarked on a cocaine-fuelled crime rampage through Romford, Hornchurch and Upminster Bridge have been jailed for a total of 12 years and nine months.

Yesterday, 15:44

The Chimichanga Mexican restaurant in Hornchurch is one of 94 eateries being closed by the Prezzo Group over the next few months, it has been revealed.

Yesterday, 15:30

A new branch of JD Sports will be opening in Romford with a special fun sports day.

Yesterday, 14:33

A man from Hornchurch has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of a man, last night.

Yesterday, 13:30

At one time or another, everyone has blurted out the lyrics to Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You, Aretha Franklin’s Respect or the heart-wrenching theme tune from Titanic, when they think no one else is listening.

Yesterday, 12:00

Residents of all ages braved snow and freezing temperatures to clear up rubbish surrounding a pub in their community.

Yesterday, 10:00

Progress continues to be made in the fight against fly-tippers as Havering Council relishes in its latest successes.


Fed up with haggling on people’s drives over a used car, only to find out later it’s on its last legs?

Many drivers will be heading to the showrooms in March looking to pick up a car bearing the shiny new 18 registration plate.

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now