A High Wycombe grandmother has said she was ‘petrified’ after falling into a manhole and fracturing her shoulder.

Georgina Heyburn, 47, fell into the manhole in Aylesbury in January while walking her border collie Ripple and staffy Alfie, who has since passed away.

The mother-of-two who has three grandchildren and is 5ft 2ins tall said the hole was six feet deep.

Bucks Free Press: Manhole Aylesbury 2

The former carer said she tried to step round the loose manhole cover but slipped and instead fell through it. She sustained a hairline fracture to her shoulder during the fall but managed to hold onto the leads of her dogs while stuck in the hole.

Her then-boyfriend managed to free her from the small shaft, which is located on a grass verge by the side of the A413 in between Watermead Allotments and Buckingham Park.

Five months on, Georgina has spoken about her ordeal to warn members of the public and has demanded compensation for her fall.

“I was absolutely petrified,” she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service this week, “I thought that was it.”

Speaking by the side of the manhole, she said: “I am only small, and I thought I was going to be stuck in there forever. I am lucky I didn’t go unconscious as I did hit the side.”

Georgina, who clipped herself on the cover as she fell through it, added: “I was quite frightened, really, really scared.”

The Aylesbury resident went to hospital after the accident, where an X-ray revealed she had chipped her shoulder. She subsequently received physiotherapy and needs ongoing hydrocortisone injections to deal with the pain.

“In the mornings I get mad pain,” said Georgina, whose injuries to her shoulder have affected her ability to ride her motorbike and play with her 10-week-old new grandchild.

She said: “I can’t carry him and when I do hold him, I have to put him down because I can feel the strain.

“Before my dog passed away, it affected me walking him and I couldn’t walk the other one because I couldn’t grip, couldn’t hold.

“I was just gutted. All I wanted to do was go for a walk. They are trying to not admit liability on it, which I think is really bad.”

Georgina made a formal complaint to Buckinghamshire Council over the accident, however, the authority has refused to accept responsibility for the incident.Bucks Free Press: Bucks Council Highways Officer Checking Manhole

Georgina says she has also spoken to a man on the nearby Watermead Allotments who also fell down the manhole but did not report it to the council.

She said: “I’m 47, relatively fit and I was able to get out of there. If that had been a child, animal or elderly person, it could be fatal.

“This is quite serious, and the council aren’t taking it seriously enough. It is quite sad really because that is what they think of our residents.”

A spokesperson for Buckinghamshire Council said: “We are very sorry to hear about Miss Heyburn’s unfortunate accident.

“One of our technicians has attended the site to find out who the owner of the broken inspection cover involved is.

“We can confirm this cover is the responsibility of a utility company and we have contacted them to ask them to repair it as a matter of urgency.

“Whilst on site, our technician found barriers around the cover had been flattened, and he made sure these were put back up to protect the hole until the a utility company has made a proper repair.

“Miss Heyburn should contact the utility company direct to discuss the issue of compensation.”

In a new follow-up statement, a council spokesperson said: “On closer inspection of the site and following discussions with UKPN, it has been clarified that the manhole is a redundant traffic signals chamber which belongs to the council.

“It had been cordoned off, but the barriers had been removed, leaving the site exposed without our knowledge.

“We have apologised to UKPN for the mix up and have also given our sincere apologies to the resident who has logged a claim which is currently being processed.

“The area has been made safe once again and highways crews are in the process of making arrangements to permanently remove the chamber.”

This article has been updated following further correspondence provided by the council which corrected the original statement provided.