Express & Star

Driver and dog escape injury after car crashes into Walsall canal overnight

A Walsall driver and his dog had a rude awakening when they took a wrong turning into the town's canal lock.

Last updated
The Vauxhall Zafira in the canal near Birchills Bridge, Walsall

Firefighters were called out to the stricken driver whose car was halfway into the water at Old Birchills. However, the driver and his dog escaped the vehicle before emergency services arrived.

West Midlands Fire Service and West Midlands Police were on the scene around just after midnight near The Navigation pub.

A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service said: "We were called at 12.03am in the early hours of Friday, March 31 after a man had driven into a canal lock in Birchills, Walsall.

"The vehicle's front bumper and wheels had submerged in the water. The man and his dog had managed to self-extricate from the car prior to our arrival."

The spokesman added: "Two fire engines, a 4x4 Brigade Response Vehicle and a member of our technical rescue unit attended the incident. Our first appliance arrived within two minutes of being mobilised.

"On arrival, fire crews made the scene safe. A decision was made to leave the car in position until recovery could be arranged and we left the scene at 12.55am."

Witnesses claimed no-one was treated for injuries at the scene.

The Vauxhall Zafira is blocking the Walsall Canal top lock

The Vauxhall Zafira was still lodged in the lock at 9am on Friday, however, the Canals and River Trust confirmed it is working on removing the vehicle today.

The trust's team are currently on site and a specialist recovery team has been drafted in for the tricky operation.

A spokesman said: "We were alerted that a car had got stuck in a canal lock in Walsall last night, with emergency services attending the scene. Our team has been on site this morning and is working with a recovery service to remove the vehicle.

"The canal had been closed as part of the Canal & River Trust’s winter programme of vital repairs to safeguard the historic waterways. Once the car has been removed we are on track to reopen the canal tomorrow for navigation as planned.

“We’re helping the police with their enquiries.”

Last November a salvage operation had to be undertaken after a car got stuck in lock number three of the canal in Tipton.

A car was stuck in lock number 3 in November

The Top Lock, Old Birchills, forms part of the Walsall Canal which is a branch of the Birmingham canal. Work began in 1786 as a branch from the Birmingham Canal Navigation, when it was completed in 1799 the name was changed to the Walsall Canal.