A FIVE year old boy was cut free from a ground floor escalator by firefighters after he got his foot stuck.
The incident happened on the ground floor of the Lakeside Shopping Centre outside BHS and Dorothy Perkins stores.
At 15:51 hrs, the incident commander reported that crews were using specialist cutting equipment, scissors, small gear and a saw to free the boy’s foot from the escalator.
Acting Station Officer Russ Freeman, from Grays Fire Station, who was in charge of the incident said: "The boy was shopping with his family and travelling down the escalator when about four to five steps from hitting the ground, his foot in a soft trainer got caught in a gap between the upside of the escalator and the step and got drawn into the mechanical teeth on the underside of the step.
"Fortunately someone pressed the emergency stop button immediately and raised the alarm. When we arrived at the scene he was in a lot of pain so crews administered emergency first aid and oxygen, got him into a comfortable, supported position and we began what was a very difficult extracation.
"It was a very distressing rescue. His parents were obviously extremely emotional and he had to cope with the added pressure of the shopping crowds looking on but he was a very brave lad throughout.
"Firefighters worked as quickly as they could to free him using cutting gear to spread the mechanics of the escalator and then more intricate tools to release him. It took about 35 minutes from start to finish.
"By the time he was free an air ambulance was at the scene to fly him off to Broomfield Hospital."