Rescue crews had to be called out yesterday to retrieve two children stuck in mud at a road construction site near Manchester, UK.
Their parents, who at one point in the ordeal were up to their waists in the treacherous mire, managed to get out.
But they could not reach the young girl and boy, who were stuck up to their knees and too weak to move.
The family had been out walking in fields near Leigh when they decided to cross a construction site at around 11.30am local time, not realising that machinery and winter rain had churned the ground into a quagmire.
After an emergency call, fire crews from two local stations and a water incident unit arrived and managed to find a safe way on to the site to retrieve the children, reported newspaper The Leigh Reporter.
Paramedics found the family suffering from cold but otherwise unhurt.
"A lot of heavy plant machinery has been going up and down there and it’s churning up the mud," local fire official Dave Holden told the newspaper. "When it gets wet and cold, like it has been recently, there’s about two feet of soft mud.
"At one point the adults were almost waist deep in the mud but they’ve self-rescued. We had a young girl and a young boy stuck, so we found a different route down to wade across to get them out. They were just cold, and I think they were a bit embarrassed too."
As a note of warning, he added: "It’s a construction site and just because the gates are open it doesn’t mean it’s safe to go through if you’re out walking, particularly in this sort of weather."
The construction project itself concerns a new guided busway link, part of an ambitious, multi-million-dollar bus-line extension in Greater Manchester.