Great-gran plunged down hole after contractor left it uncovered

Jane Houston, 86, fell down the uncovered pit in Kirkcaldy, Fife on September 15.

Great-gran plunged down hole after contractor left it uncovered SWNS via SWNS

A great-grandmother plunged down a hole more than three feet deep after it was left uncovered by a contractor.

Jane Houston, 86, has suffered from panic attacks and is scared to leave the house after falling down a hole in the middle of the pavement.

She was found with her head poking out the pit on Whytehouse Avenue in Kirkcaldy, Fife, on September 15.

Great-gran-of-five Jane was taken to hospital by one of her daughters.

She was on her way to see her other daughter Marion Attan, 65, who was going to give Jane a trim at her hairdressing salon.

Marion said: “A woman came running into my shop and said ‘your mum is down a ditch.’

“How she never had a broken limb, I’ll never know.

“When I got there a very kind gentleman had already pulled her out and she had a gash on her knee, her hands were skinned, and was very shaken.

“My sister took her to A&E but there were hundreds of people there and my mum said ‘I can’t sit here, I just want to go home.’

“That weekend, my mum was throwing up everywhere, I think it was delayed shock.

“She has been very lucky – she could have been killed.

“My mum has panic attacks, she keeps getting to the front door and then can’t go out.

“She keeps asking ‘what if no one had found me?’

“The hole has been there for months now.

“We also phoned the police and they said that they think it is kids that keep removing the barriers, and that there is not much they can do about it.

“My poor mum has not been right since – I think she is still in shock.

“It was like something out of Fawlty Towers, it was just awful.”

She believes kids stole guards placed by contractors carrying out work on a neighbouring property, which needs to be inspected by Scottish Water before the hole can be filled in.

Fife Council services manager Bill Liddle said: “The contractor has now placed a steel plate over the excavation.”

A Scottish Water spokesman said: “The excavation on Whytehouse Avenue was not carried out by Scottish Water and is the responsibility of the contractor that is carrying out the works on behalf of a private individual or business.

“Scottish Water’s role is only to inspect the new pipework and then complete the connection to our main within the contractor’s excavation, the road opening and associated site safety responsibility remains with the contractor.”

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