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

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