Man locked in Howick public toilet

Firemen trying to rescue man trapped in toilet next to the information centre in Howick. Photo supplied

Being locked in a public toilet could be anyone’s worst nightmare.

When Frith Jenkins, owner of Howick Village Optometrist, was leaving East FM Radio Station at around 9.30pm last Tuesday night, she was surprised to find flashing lights and four firemen trying to break into the Picton St public toilet, near the Howick Information Centre.

The firemen were trying to rescue a man who had been locked inside.

Reportedly, the council contractor who locks the toilets in the evening did not physically check if someone was still in there and locked the public toilet in the evening.

“While we don’t know who raised an alarm and called the fire brigade on hearing the man trapped in it, the man could have had a heart attack in there,” she says.

“What’s worse is that with lockdown, the toilets could have been locked for the next few days and no one would have known about it.”

A spokesperson at the Howick Fire Station confirmed that they were called at 9.06pm to rescue a man from a locked toilet.

They got him out on the back alley from a window.

Auckland Council head of Area Operations, Community Facilities Julie Pickering
said, “We are aware of the very concerning incident where a member of the public was locked into the Howick toilets. We would like to extend our heartfelt apologies to this individual and thank the members of public who helped him out of the locked toilets.

“We can assure the public that this is a very rare incident and we have launched a full investigation with our contractors.

“At this point, we do not know who this individual is and would like to encourage them to contact council so we can apologise directly and further investigate this.”

The Howick Local Board has advised the following public toilets are remaining open during Covid-19 Level 3:

  • Grangers Point, Bucklands Beach
  • Eastern Beach Playground Park
  • Eastern Beach Caravan Park
  • Barry Curtis Park, Flat Bush
  • Moore Street, Howick