Scaffolding collapses on town centre street

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This was the dramatic scene in Chorley town centre as a man escaped unhurt after falling from collapsing scaffolding on a town centre street.

Health and Safety Executive officials are launching an investigation after the two-storey structure fell outside the Hampson’s Toy Store on Market Street on Sunday afternoon at 3pm.

The street was cordoned off as police and paramedics attended the scene to clear the damage.

Mike Hampson, one of the Hampson family who own the store, suffered only minor brusing in the incident. It is unclear what he was doing on the scaffolding.

One eyewitness, said: “It was just lucky that no-one walking past at the time when it fell down.

“I had been coming up Pall Mall when I saw the the emergency flashing lights of police cars blocking the road. I followed the diversion and stopped just to see what was going on.

“The road was all cordoned off but I could not see anyone on the ground.

“I just think it was a good job that it was not during the week or on a Saturday when you have school children or when it is busier.

“Even if there had been some cars on the road it could landed on that or even a bus and lots of people could have been hurt.

“I don’t really know what happened but it was a bit breezy whether that had anything to do with it all I don’t know.”

Andrew Leathwood, manager of the Hampsons Store, said: “I was in utter disbelief that the scaffolding had come down and we are thankful that no-one was injured.

“Mike Hampson was there with the police and ambulance and had some minor cuts and bruises.

“We have got to get to the bottom of what happened.

“The builders and scaffolders came immediately and they worked with the police to sort the situation.

“As far as they were concerned when they finished on Friday there were seals on the entrance and nobody would be in there until Monday.

“Myself and Josie Hampson (one of the directors ) are relieved because there could have been a disaster with somebody being killed.”

Josie Hampson, added: “The scaffolding was up because all they are trying to do is make the front of the shop more attractive and generally improving it.

“It is looking to open in a few weeks when it is completed.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: “We received a call to reports of some scaffolding had crashed into the road. The whole structure was two-storey and a double shop frontage. The owner of the shop was on the first level and he had fallen uninjured.

“CCTV footage of the incident is now being looked at to find out what happened. The person was checked at the scene and had no injuries.”

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive confirmed that they were making inquiries into the incident.

Coun Alan Cullens who is responsible for building control at Chorley Council, said: “The council received a complaint about the safety of the refurbishment work at Hampsons toy store on Market Street. We went out to inspect on Monday morning and found there was nothing further for Chorley Council to investigate.”