Friday, January 25, 2013

Wells & Accidents - The Bungled Burgle

It was March, 2011 in Boothtown, a suburb of Halifax, West Yorkshire, England.  It was also very early in the morning - 5:15 A.M. to be precise - when a call came into the local police station regarding a burglary on Bell Street.  Seemed a neighbor took to chasing two men suspected of the burglary, but gave up and called police instead.

Before the police could even get organized another call came in from nearby Claremount Road from a young man who was reporting that he'd fallen down into a well and needed emergency help.  The police started putting two and two together, and you guessed it.  From the paper reporting on the situation:

"It would appear the man who fell down the well was one of the burglars who was fleeing the scene.  He was chased by a neighbour.  He climbed a small wall and dropped down a banking of  approximately 20ft before then falling down a 30ft deep well.   It appears it was uncovered and hidden from view to the fleeing suspect.  A technical rescue team from Cleckheaton Fire Station was drafted in to save the man and brought him up in what firefighters dubbed "a giant nappy" - a support linked to two ropes.  Watch Manager Trevor McDonald from Cleckheaton Fire Station said: "It was quite a  complex technical rescue as it was only around 3ft wide at the bottom of the well with  only enough room to get one firefighter down there.  The man was face down when we found him, but conscious throughout and was talking  to us.""

This 21 year old ill-fated man was arrested on suspicion of burglary when he got to the top of the well and was taken to the hospital where he was found to have a broken vertebrae.  Can you imagine lying face down in a 3-foot shaft at the bottom of a well with a broken back?  And having to call the police for help under these circumstances? 

Once again, we see clearly that not only does "crime not pay", but also that abandoned wells are accidents waiting to happen.  About the only good news is that he survived and we all now know that in Boothtown a good cell phone works from 30' underground.

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