Thames Water has been criticised after a boy was left dangling over a six-foot drop after he fell into an uncovered sewer.

Samantha Froggatt's seven-year-old son fell into the sewer after a broken manhole cover gave way on Saturday.

They were walking on Trafalgar Road in Cirencester when the incident happened.

Luckily the boy caught himself on the edge of the hole by clutching the road for safety while his legs dangled over the 6ft deep hole.

Samantha has now criticised Thames Water and said she is furious that the manhole cover was in such bad condition.

She added she is concerned about what could have happened if a vulnerable pensioner or a smaller child had fallen through.

Her son managed to escape with just a bruised knee but she fears that the same hole could have easily caused a broken bone or could have been fatal.

The incident occurred just outside Ashley House Bupa Care Home in Cirencester and some staff from the home helped Ms Froggatt cover the hole with an A-board.

The care home's manager was shocked when he saw the depth of the hole and was very concerned about the danger it posed to vulnerable residents walking down the road with Zimmer frames or walking sticks. 

Ms Froggatt contacted Thames Water as soon as she returned home and was told that the manhole cover would be fixed within two hours, but when she returned to the site 48 hours later nothing had been done.

She said: "My son and I have walked to school on this road a million times, so I was shocked when I saw him disappear into the ground right in front of me on Saturday.

"He was really shaken up and distressed after the incident and now is very nervous to walk passed it.

"Luckily he didn't seriously hurt himself but I am quite concerned about the hygiene implications.

"Lots of elderly people live near this road and a fall could have been fatal for them. 

"It is also a hazard for people walking home from the nearby pub in the dark.

"There was no indication that the manhole cover was faulty or damaged and I'm really shocked that it still hasn't been fixed.

"I am now cautious when walking around Cirencester as I am concerned about the condition of other manhole covers in the area."

A Thames Water spokesperson said: “We are aware of and urgently reviewing reports of an incident involving a broken manhole cover in Trafalgar Road.

"Our engineers have already carried out a temporary repair and will carry out a permanent repair as soon as possible.

“Health and safety is our top priority and we take matters of this kind very seriously.

"We are grateful to the customer for bringing this incident to our attention and have reached out to offer advice and support.”