A female squatter in Sant Joan d’Alacant almost drowned after falling into a building’s underground water cistern.

A passer-by heard shouting coming from the block on Saturday evening and waved down a Guardia Civil patrol car.

Officers went inside the building to locate where the noise was coming from.

They spotted a tiny room with wooden doors under the communal stairs.

The small opening of less than a square metre gave access to a cistern full of water which had an exhausted woman, 46, in it.

Women Recovered

The Guardia came in the nick of time as she could barely stay afloat.

Officers tried to warm her up before an ambulance took her to Sant Joan Hospital, where she was treated for hypothermia.

She was discharged on Sunday.

It’s believed that when she found the small room in the block, she decided to lay down on the floor, which was in fact the cistern lid, to get a good night’s sleep.

Unfortunately for her, the weight was too much for the cover which gave way.

The Guardia Civil is looking into the building owner and whether they have legal responsibility for what happened since safety regarding cisterns and wells is their obligation.

Access to such areas is normally restricted and warning signs also have to be used.


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