A GIRL has been left on crutches after falling down an open drain as she waded through floodwater.

Sophie Sowden, 13, was enjoying a sleepover with friends when the storm hit Canvey.

Eager to see what was going on, the girls went outside to Link Road and were walking in the floodwater.

Mum Claire Sowden, 34, of Hallet Road, Canvey, said: “Sophie all of a sudden dropped and was only saved from falling further by her thighs.

“If it had been a smaller child, it could have been fatal.”

Sophie was saved by her friends, who pulled her out of the drain, before helping her to safety. The Castle View schoolgirl suffered a deep cut to her right shin and grazes along her thighs.

She has been left on crutches and is on antibiotics after the cuts on her legs became infected by sewage water.

Mrs Sowden said: “She’s in a lot of pain and crying all the time. Everyone is out enjoying the summer holidays and she is immobile.

“At the time, I didn’t give it a thought. I just thought it was a cut, but I took her to the doctor and he said she needed to go to A&E. If drains are left open, it’s just waiting for an accident to happen.

“She didn’t know what it was when she fell.

“The water was up to her chest. Luckily, her friends helped her out.”