A six-year-old girl is fighting for her life after a freak accident involving a metal street bollard. The child, has not been named, is understood to have leapfrogged the three-foot high post in Lymington, Hampshire, but slipped over and caused the bollard to strike her in the head.
Eyewitnesses say the girl suffered serious injuries and was lying unconscious and breathing shallowly in her father's arms while her mother called an ambulance. She was rushed to the intensive care unit at Southampton General Hospital where she was placed in an induced coma. Her condition has reportedly been described as life-threatening.
Flowers have been left at the scene wishing the little girl luck. The council have since removed the bollard, the Telegraph reported citing local traders.
According to the Daily Mail, the heavy bollard tumbled so easily because it had been damaged by a vehicle nearly a month ago. The newspaper said police are investigating claims that the local council had been informed that a car had reversed into the bollard but rather than fix or remove it a cable tie was used to simply hold the post in place.
Lymington and Pennington Town Council were not immediately available for comment.
One local claimed the bollard had fallen over three times earlier in the month because of children playing on it. The unidentified man said: "The accident could have been prevented. It has fallen over three times already this month with kids hanging off it.
"The kids were just swinging off it and it fell over but it didn't hit any of them. I think two people from round here had complained about the bollard."
There were unconfirmed reports that the family were on holiday in the seaside town when the accident happened. Locals reported hearing a stomach-churning thud as the heavy post struck the little girl on the head.