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Terrified toddler trapped in portable toilet for more than an hour

The mother of a toddler, who was trapped inside an automated toilet cubicle for more than an hour in hot conditions, says she’s disgusted it took so long for someone to help her child.

Three-year-old Hannah became trapped in the 24-hour public toilet facility in Surry Hills on Monday, after the door closed and the outside panel then indicated it was "out-of-service".

Mum Senta Hoyne said she called the provider JC Decaux but was dismayed by their response.

“I said it was a three-year-old trapped in distress in a hot stinky toilet,” Mrs Hoyne told Kidspot.

Little Hannah moments after being freed from the toilet cubicle. Source: Kidspot
Little Hannah moments after being freed from the toilet cubicle. Source: Kidspot

“The lady on the phone seemed unfazed and repeated the technician must be there any minute.

“I was told ‘no don’t call the police’, I was shocked I was being discouraged from doing this.”

Hannah had been at the park with her nanny Betty and two older sisters at the time.

Mrs Hoyne said Betty had been standing in the doorway while Hannah went to the toilet, but when the door started to shut, she made a split second decision to step to the outside to be with the two other children.

“Hannah at this point is not distressed as she had used this bathroom many times. But once she finished she pressed the buttons to exit but they did not work and she freaked out,” Mrs Hoyne said.

Police work to free the three-year-old. Source: Twitter
Police work to free the three-year-old. Source: Twitter

Betty made the first call to the technician, explaining that a distressed toddler was trapped inside, before ringing Mrs Hoyne who also rang for assistance.

With temperatures over 30C Betty tried singing to little Hannah in a bid to calm her down.

“Before I arrived Hannah was quite distressed, my nanny was outside the door trying to sing to her and trying to keep her calm. Even an adult wouldn’t like to be stuck in there,” Mrs Hoyne told Kidspot.

More than 40 minutes after the first call to the technician, Mrs Hoyne then called police with a rescue team arriving within minutes of the call.

The officers were able to use a baton to crack the door open far enough for Hannah to get some ventilation and see her mother.

A packet of Tiny Teddies was also passed through to the three-year-old before officers broke the door to free little Hannah.

“She was covered in urine when she came out, I don’t know what happened in there, if she sat down or it went through a cleaning cycle with her in there but it was gross,” Mrs Hoyne said.

“Maybe my nanny didn’t use the toilet correctly, or it didn’t register the weight of Hannah in the toilet so it locked itself.

“But the contractor should have been there, and a toddler stuck in a toilet on a hot day should have been resolved in 20 minutes max.”