Shea Ryan: Boy, 10, died after he fell 20 feet in an open manhole near play park

Shea Ryan: Boy, 10, died after he fell 20 feet in an open manhole near play park
During the accident, Graham Patterson, Shea's stepfather, entered the manhole after the other children sounded an alarm (Shea Ryan/Scotland Police)

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM: A terrible lack of safety precautions led to the death of a ten-year-old kid when he plummeted 20 feet (or six meters) through an unlocked manhole cover. Shea Ryan died on a construction site in Drumchapel, Glasgow, after falling down a manhole's ladder and into a watery area below. Before discovering the unlocked manhole cover, he and his companions had entered the area through an unreliable fence close to a playground.

After taking a look down the hole, he said to the other kids, "I want to go down." The prosecutor described Shea's fatal fall during a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court today, saying: "Shea began to climb down the ladder when he slipped and fell. From the position of the ladder, he fell to the water below." However, yesterday at Glasgow Sheriff Court, building contractor RJ McLeod acknowledged having inadequately considered the possibility of persons gaining access to the site.


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'Shea was seen to have severe head injuries'

During the accident, Graham Patterson, Shea's stepfather, entered the manhole after other children sounded the alarm. The ten-year-old was discovered lying on his back with Mr Patterson and a neighbor next to him when police arrived on the scene, as reported by Daily Mail.


There were 6.3 meters, or almost 20 feet, between the ladder and the hole's base. The prosecutor said, "Shea was seen to have severe head injuries, was cold to the touch and was not breathing." Shea could not be rescued, but an officer managed to get him to the surface and do CPR before bringing him to Glasgow's Royal Children's Hospital. Death was attributed to "head injury and drowning." As part of a government project to lessen flooding in the area, contractor RJ McLeod temporarily took over the administration of the construction site from another business, ABV.

An investigation carried out stated that the firm "failed to undertake a full assessment on the work area and consider its close proximity to the nearby play park and the risk of children being attracted to the site as well as identify the measures to prevent unauthorised access."


Additionally, it was discovered that the corporation did not regularly examine its current policies. The removal of the manhole cover has not been linked to any particular cause. The hearing was informed that the facility had previously seen vandalism to the fencing and had been broken into six times. Bolstering the barrier had previously been implemented, although not in the vicinity of the play park, as reported by Mirror.

Elevation in security 

It was claimed that this caused the company—which has two prior convictions for asbestos-related offenses as well as a health and safety violation—to wait until after the occurrence to take the necessary steps to eliminate a recognized risk. Since the event, the firm has tightened its fencing, made a log, and routinely inspected the manhole covers. There are now also security cameras with motion sensors powered by solar energy, as per reports.

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 10-yr-old boy tragically dies after falling 20 feet in an open manhole near play park