FIREFIGHTERS were right on cue when they rescued a four-year-old girl whose hand was trapped in a pool table pocket at the Walker Arms in New Milton.
Staff at the pub in Station Road raised the alarm after the youngster got into difficulty around 3.45pm last Friday.
Bar tender Deby Boyce told the A&T a scream alerted her and her colleagues to the incident, and the child’s brother came and asked for help.
“None of us know how it happened,” she said.
“One of the staff went to help and we instantly phoned the fire service as we weren’t sure we would be able to get her out.”
A local fire crew was forced to cut into the pool table as they released the casualty within 45 minutes. She was not injured, and an ambulance initially called to the scene was stood down before arrival.
The girl’s mum, who asked to remain anonymous, contacted the A&T to give her thanks to the bar staff and the firefighters for their help.
She said: “She was playing pool with her brother. She went to grab the ball, to which we all said no, but it was too late.
“It was just up to her wrist but the way she had turned her hand into the pocket simply got her hand wedged in and, unfortunately, the only way out was to cut the table – no damage to her at all, she was just frightened.”
The incident has left the pub temporarily down to one pool table while it waits for a replacement to be delivered.