A DOG trapped 20ft down a manhole was rescued by firefighters in painstaking operation in Widnes.
A German Shepherd called Ava had fallen down a manhole on Bradley Way at around 7.40am yesterday.
She her head stuck between the first and second rung of a steel ladder at the bottom of the hole.
She was lying in water with her head was above the water and she had a wheelie bin on top of her.
It is believed Ava had been stuck down there for around 12 hours.
Watch Manager Gary Raper, who attended the incident, said: “The dog’s owners informed us that she had run off out of sight while being walked the night before.
“After being unable to find her that night, they returned to the area in the morning and heard her barking from the manhole in a secluded wooded area near to an expressway.
“The manhole’s cover was missing and we believe that the wheelie bin was wedged halfway down the manhole when the dog fell in the hole.
“We think the wheelie bin cushioned her fall before landing on top of her.”
Firefighters used height safety equipment to secure a line to the bottom of the manhole.
The Animal Rescue Unit from Lymm then set up a quad pod to lower a firefighter to the bottom of the manhole using a harness.
The firefighter freed the dog’s head from the ladder and attached her to a safety harness.
The dog was then lifted out of the hole using a pulley system.
Despite her ordeal, the dog seemed in perfect health after being rescued and handed over to the care of her owners.
Watch Manager Raper added: “Ava is a very lucky dog and we are delighted we were able to help reunite her safely with her owners.”
Firefighters were at the scene for an hour and a half.