12/10/2011 13:09 BST | Updated 12/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Toddler Has Arm Ripped Off By Washing Machine

A toddler had his arm ripped off by a washing machine after it failed to stop when he opened it mid-cycle.

Three-year-old Lewis Roberts was reportedly trying to help his mother fill the machine with clothes. He wandered into the kitchen and opened the door of the Creda 800 machine while it was still running and reached inside.

His mother, Rachel Roberts, was in the living room of their rented home in Crewe when she heard her son screaming. The mother of four found Lewis covered in blood with his left arm severed and inside the drum.

Lewis was rushed to Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, but doctors were unable to re-attach his arm, which had been torn off just below his shoulder.

He may have to undergo more surgery and will be given a prosthetic arm.

Miss Roberts told the Daily Mail: "Overall Lewis has been fine and he's been very brave. He was left-handed but he's been getting on really well with just his right arm."

An investigation has been launched into the tragic incident by Cheshire East Council.

A spokesperson for the council said: "We are very sorry to hear about this tragic incident. It is something that we are aware of and we are currently carrying out investigations."

The washing machine has been taken away for examination by local trading standards investigators.

A spokeswoman for Cheshire Police said: "Inquiries took place to determine the sequence of events, which resulted in the child receiving the injuries.

"Staff were so moved by the horrific incident they felt the need to raise money for the family. Different departments have donated prizes, which will be raffled off at a later date."

Since the accident on September 11, family, friends and local police have been raising money to treat Lewis to a trip to Disneyland.