An accident waiting to happen

Steve Blane, who runs the Crown Hotel, pictured with one of the loose slates and pain of glass which were removed by the fire brigade on Sunday morning.

Steve Blane, who runs the Crown Hotel, pictured with one of the loose slates and pain of glass which were removed by the fire brigade on Sunday morning.

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SLATES the size of paving slabs threatened to fall and decapitate pedestrians on Morecambe’s seafront.

Steve Blane, who manages The Crown hotel and restaurant near the Eric Morecambe statue, said the jumbo slates could easily have killed someone. A customer told Mr Blane that glass and slates on the roof of the former Office pub were coming loose in the wind on Sunday morning.

“When I saw it I said ‘someone is going to get killed’,” Steve told The Visitor. “I could see glass and slates pivoting on the roof.

“The glass and slates were about three floors up. The slates were right over the main bit of pavement so they could literally have cut someone’s head off.

“It was right above a bus stop and there are lots of shops and businesses nearby.

“We have enough bad press at the moment from what has gone on in the past – the last thing we need is an accident waiting to happen.”

Wayne Friend, watch manager from the retained crew at Morecambe Fire Station, said: “The glass was hanging over the pavement by about a foot – it could have quite easily come down and hurt someone.

“The glass was coming out of a dormer window. We removed several slates that had come loose. High winds were forecast for later that day.

“The pavement had to be cordoned off so that nothing came down on top of anyone and the traffic on the prom was slightly affected.”

Mark Cullinan, chief executive of Lancaster City Council, said: “We were not made aware of the incident at the time but have visited the property to ensure appropriate measures have been taken to make the building safe.

“On inspection, the building did not appear to pose any further risk to the public.

“All building owners, both domestic and commercial, should undertake periodic assessments of their properties to identify any potential maintenance issues and take action accordingly.

“Should the council receive reports of dangerous and dilapidated structures, the council’s building surveyors will generally ensure that appropriate action is taken by the owner to ensure that the danger is removed safely.

“In the absence of the owner, the building may be made safe on the owner’s behalf and the owner charged for the work.”