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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Annabal Bagdi & Ryan Merrifield

Woman left traumatised after falling into canal she thought was a patch of grass

A woman was left red-faced after falling into a weed-ridden canal, having mistaken it for a patch of grass.

Alex Niang is not the first person to fall victim at Walsall's Waterfront in the West Midlands - but has been left riddled with trauma.

Many people have been duped and ended up going for a swim over the years due to the overgrowth of vegetation, reported BirminghamLive.

The Canal & River Trust, which oversees the waterway has previously warned about the weeds in the basin.

Alex, from London, was in town to visit a friend when the incident occurred on July 15.

The 25-year-old said she was traumatised by the fall as she walked to a nearby restaurant.

Have you fallen victim to Walsall's Waterfront? Let us know at

Many people have been duped by the water (Handout)

She remembered how she "just stepped in", telling the BBC: "It looks exactly like grass."

Her pal managed to help her out but she claimed passers-by were "just watching me basically drown".

She is now demanding Walsall Council to put extra measures in place to make the area safer, with council bosses saying they are "carefully considering" options.

Alex - who has anxiety - also said how she has been forced to take time off work, cancel holidays and has struggled to leave her home since the incident.

The water has previously been flushed of weeds in an effort to combat the issue (Handout)

She went on to say she left Walsall Manor Hospital without being checked over by medics after waiting 11 hours. There were no serious injuries but she felt unwell after, she added.

A Walsall Council spokesperson said: "From a highways perspective, the path at the town end of the canal is 3m wide which is much wider than a standard towpath."

In 2019, four people ended up in the water in separate incidents on the same day. A 19-year-old fell in following a trip to Nandos with a group of friends at around 7.30pm on October 4.

Less than an hour later, dad Steve Worthington and his 11-year-old son suffered the same fate, and stepped straight into the canal. The 41-year-old had to battle to keep his lad’s head above the water as they desperately tried to clamber to safety.

On the same night, a romantic date at TGI Fridays was almost ruined when a 35-year-old woman also ended up submerged in the weed-ridden depths. A huge 60 tonnes of weed was later scooped out of the canal following the incidents.

In 2007, a BMW had to be pulled out of the water after a motorist got lost and drove onto Gallery Square and into the canal. This was eight years after another driver suffered the same fate.

Last year, the Canal & River Trust put a spherical buoy into the water.

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