A three-year-old boy ended up in hospital over the weekend after he fell down a manhole whilst chasing a football during a family getaway.

Jake O'Neill, from Liverpool, had not long arrived at the holiday park with his parents and siblings when he suddenly disappeared down at "five feet deep" sewage drain located next to their accommodation.

His dad Ryan, 30, claimed the hole's cover wasn't fixed properly and that he was only alerted to the situation after his daughters had started screaming.

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"We were getting the bags out of the car when, all of a sudden, the girls started screaming – so I shouted, 'Where is your brother?'" he told The Liverpool Echo.

"They pointed at this manhole and I ran over and dropped down onto the floor and there he was – stuck in this manhole. I lifted him out and gave him cuddle."

Ryan added that while he escaped with cuts and bruises, little Jake – who's just been diagnosed with autism – has been left badly shaken up by the incident.

"If it was any other kid he they would be alright with it, but (his condition means) he doesn't process things, so it was a bit harder for him.

"All night he was waking up screaming and stuff.

He added, "His sisters were traumatised by it too because they said to me, 'Dad, me and Rosie thought Jake was gone forever'.

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"No child should say that whatsoever, never mind one who's six or seven years of age."

Issuing a warning to other parents, Ryan said that the manhole cover "wasn't on properly and it was bent – like a van or lawnmower had gone over it and dislodged it."

He also claimed there was no signage near the manhole and had raised his concerns with the manager and security at the holiday park, which hasn't been named.

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