A 13-YEAR-OLD girl was pulled to safety by emergency crews after sliding 80 feet down an embankment and becoming trapped up to the waist in mud.

A nine-year-old friend made a frantic 999 call on a mobile phone after the girl suffered leg injuries in the ravine, in Whittle-le-Woods, near Chorley, known locally as Dead Man's Tunnel.

Police, fire crews, paramedics and mountain rescue teams were all scrambled to the scene, along a stretch of boggy land which used to be a canal until 1970, at around 7pm yesterday.

The nine-year-old's first phone call led police to believe that the friends had actually fallen into one of the area's three quarries after dropping her purse and stumbling.

Lancashire Police's helicopter was scrambled while officers on the ground also carried out checks and quizzed local youngsters about where the girls might have been playing.

Then they received a second call from the nine-year-old, who had managed to scramble back up to the top of the ravine. She gave officers better directions to the site, off Hill Top Lane, a remote single-lane road.

Teams from the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team, supported by rope teams from Lancashire Fire and Rescue, then spent 45 minutes getting help to the youngster.

She received medical attention before being winched back up to the road, where she taken by ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital suffering leg injuries.

Today police warned parents across Lancashire to make sure their children knew not to play in remote areas such as quarries.

With the summer holidays due to start, police fear yesterday's incident may be the first of many right across East Lancashire.

Sgt Eddie Newton, of Lancashire Police, said: "The first phone call received suggested the girls had fallen into a quarry and were trapped so teams began searching the quarries.

"Then we got the second call and were able to locate them. There was virtually no traction on the slope, which a 45 degree drop, so mountain rescue and fire crews had to use ropes to get down there.

"The girls were covered in mud and the 13-year-old couldn't move because of her leg injuries."

He added: "This was private land and we would urge parents to remind their children about making sure they do not wonder off or play in areas which are not safe." A spokesman for Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue, said: "It was very muddy and we had to use ropes to get down there."

The land has been privately owned since the canal was drained in 1970.

The current owners are Peter and Barbara Hughes.

Mrs Hughes said: "We do get youngsters coming on here and playing and it can be dangerous.

"We hope this serves to make sure other youngsters don't play here in the future."