Girl stuck in Dover storm drain retrieving phone

media captionNeighbours described their surprise at seeing Ella stuck in the drain in the road

A teenage girl got stuck in a storm drain when she tried to retrieve her phone which had fallen into it.

Ella Birchenough became stuck up to her waist after lifting up the cover and squeezing down the hole in Eaves Road, Dover, on Wednesday evening.

The 16-year-old had to be released by fire crews but was uninjured.

Witness Tim Richards, 22, described it as "a comedy gold moment" and said the teenager had found it funny.

Attempts to free her failed so firefighters were called to pull her from the drain.

'Completely stuck'

Mr Richards said: "She was more concerned about getting her phone back rather than getting herself out of the drain."

He added that at one point she managed to inch herself out, but promptly went back in before becoming "completely stuck".

"My mum knows her mum and she went to call on her.

"We tried to pull her out a couple of times but it wasn't happening," he said.

"She was quite calm and relaxed and saw the funny side of it... how she thought she was going to get her phone, I have no idea."

image copyrightTim Richards
image captionThe teenage girl got stuck down the storm drain up to her waist while trying to retrieve her phone

Ella's mother, Joanne Birchenough, 36, told Kent Online her daughter had been trying to retrieve her two-week-old iPhone by using her feet, but she got stuck.

She joked she would be bringing out pictures of Ella in the drain on her 18th birthday and wedding day.

The taxi firm worker said: "I think it's the funniest thing. At first I panicked, thinking 'Oh my God, she's going to sink'.

"But when I saw her it made me laugh. She is upset about her phone, but at the end of the day at least she's all right."

Ella told local reporters she went to put her phone in her pocket but it fell in the drain.

She said after she was rescued she ran home and jumped in the bath.

Pictures of the teenager have been shown by media organisations around the world, including in Canada and Australia.

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