Passers-by save toddler, mum after car plunges into canal

A man using a rock to break the car window after jumping into the icy river canal.
A man using a rock to break the car window after jumping into the icy river canal.PHOTO: YOUTUBE/RTL NIEUWS

AMSTERDAM • A woman and her toddler were saved by passers-by from drowning in an icy river canal in Amsterdam, in a heroic rescue captured on video.

The woman is believed to have parked her car near the Schinkel River in the Dutch city last week, reports said. However, when she walked out of the vehicle, it began to roll forward, the Daily Mail reported. She desperately tried to free her young child from the car, but it plummeted into the canal.

Four people dived into the water to help as the white car slowly sank into the canal with mother and child trapped inside, reports said.

There are conflicting accounts on how the men managed to extricate the two.

The men first tried to break the car windows with rocks.

Four people dived into the water to help as the white car slowly sank into the canal with mother and child trapped inside, reports said.

An office worker who saw what was happening then grabbed a hammer and jumped in to help, the Huffington Post reported quoting a Dutch video report.

Mother and toddler were saved just before the car sank completely into the water. They managed to swim back to the edge of the canal, where they were helped out by several other passers-by.

The mother and toddler were taken to hospital and are now doing well, while the rescuers have been hailed as heroes, BBC said.

A photograph has since emerged of the four young men, still dripping in water, linking arms for the camera after the drama, said the Daily Mail.

"I think every healthy young man would have jumped into the water," Mr Ruben Abrahams, one of the rescuers, said to RTL Nieuws.

He described his brave act as "quite a natural reaction".

"I think we just did a good deed," he said modestly.

Questions remain as to why the canal has not been fenced off to prevent accidents from happening.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 14, 2016, with the headline 'Passers-by save toddler, mum after car plunges into canal'. Print Edition | Subscribe