Homeless woman living in Stockport cave injured in 30-foot fall

A woman who broke her spine falling 30 feet down a steep embankment into a river was homeless and known to a Stockport charity that helps rough sleepers.

The 32-year-old was living in a network of caves near the towncentre, where homeless people frequently seek shelter, with herpartner.

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Charity workers have warned of how dangerous the area is andcalled for better provision for rough sleepers so they would not putthemselves at risk by staying there.

The women fell down an embankment near Stockport Pyramid, used toaccess the caves, shortly after 7pm on Friday.

She is understood to have fractured her spine in two places and isstill being treated in Wythenshawe Hospital.

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Five fire engines, a water incident unit, two police cars, a tacticalresponse unit and two ambulances all attended the scene off Brinksway.

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It took more than three hours before specialist water rescuefirefighters managed to recover her on a dinghy.

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The hidden caves perched on a 20 foot precipice overhanging the RiverMersey have become a home for many without shelter in the past few years.

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Speaking to the Manchester Evening News earlier this year Jonathan Billings from the Wellspring homeless charity warned someone would soon be seriously hurt using the caves as a home.

“I know of people who have fallen into the river and I know this woman’s partner fell down there. She’s broken her back in two places. She was known to us and was a rough sleeper."

Jonathan Billings