An 87-year-old woman had to be freed by firefighters after a bizarre accident inside her home in Morden where she fell down the steps and became trapped by a stair lift.

Emergency services were called to Hillcross Avenue, off Grand Drive, on Friday morning to reports of an elderly woman who had fallen.

But when fire crews from New Malden arrived at 11.45am, they discovered the true extent of the accident.

Ray Foster, New Malden's green watch manager, said: "She had fallen from the top of the stairs to the bottom.

"But her right leg had got trapped behind the stair lift, and her head was wedged between a stair and the bannister.

"It was a very peculiar incident, and it was quite a shock to turn up and see that.

"I've never seen anything like it in 26 years."

Mr Foster said firefighters had to use a reciprocating saw to cut through the metal stair lift, after the cutting gear normally used to rescue car crash victims failed to cut through.

It took firefighters 40 minutes to free the woman, who was taken to St George's Hospital as a priority.

Her condition is currently unknown.

It is also not known how long she had been trapped before she was discovered at 9am by relatives who live close by.

Mr Foster said: "It was a very unusual rescue. Access was very difficult over the lady and everything about it was quite tricky.

"It was a really good effort from my crew. We devised a plan, stuck to it, and got her out."