Dad’s shock in holiday horror

Euan Hird in hospital with his certificate of bravery from the nurse.
Euan Hird in hospital with his certificate of bravery from the nurse.
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A Poulton worker has told how his son came within minutes of having his foot amputated after it got trapped in an escalator.

Euan Hird, six, was on holiday in South Africa with his mum Nishala, dad Will and sister Zara, when his foot became stuck in the bottom step of an escalator at the Gateway shopping centre in Durban.

Will, who works at Booths in Poulton, said: “We were coming down, then there was a shudder and a bang - I thought one of the adults had tripped but the bottom step had collapsed and created a small void which Euan’s foot had got trapped in.

“Someone hit the emergency stop which stopped any further damage to his foot. I tried to prise the foot away, then escalator staff, the police, the fire brigade and lift engineers arrived.

“A team of shop fitters came with angle grinders and drills and tried to drill or angle grind the kick plate on the bottom of the escalator.

“They used a blow torch and at midnight, three hours after his foot got trapped, he was freed. We were told he was only 15 or 20 minutes away from having his foot amputated to free it.

“He had two operations in South Africa.”

Euan, from Carnforth, is continuing to recover at home.

The Department of Labour in South Africa and Gateway Theatre of Shopping have launched investigations.