No safety measures for Llangollen bridge after fall

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

A COUNCIL has ruled out installing extra safety measures on the bridge where a distressed man fell 20ft into a river on Tuesday night.

Llangollen town centre came to a halt for about two hours after a man in his 40s threatened to jump from the 12th century bridge in Castle Street.

Despite the strenuous efforts of a trained police negotiator the man, who has not been named, eventually plunged into the River Dee from the parapet on which he had been standing.

He was quickly rescued from the rocks below the bridge by the combined efforts of firefighters, police and paramedics.

He was taken to Wrexham Maelor Hospital suffering from multiple injuries and yesterday was believed to be in a stable condition.

Following the incident, a number of people in Llangollen have called for nets or similar safety measures to be installed on the bridge.

One person, who was an eyewitness to the drama but did not wish to be named, said: “I have seen safety nets on the sides of a number of large bridges.

“These are there to prevent people going over either accidentally or deliberately.

“If we had something like that in Llangollen it would also stop youths jumping off the bridge in the summer and sometimes ending up with serious injuries.

“It was horrible to watch this man going over the parapet on Tuesday night.”

But a spokesman for Denbighshire County Council said: “There are no plans to install safety measures to the bridge at Llangollen

“The bridge is a listed structure and it is highly unlikely that Cadw, the official body, would allow any such development as it would adversely affect its appearance for what is, thankfully, an extremely rare occurrence.

“The parapets are of a reasonable height but unfortunately, if someone is intent on doing themselves harm, they could do so from any high structure.

“It’s a case of where do you draw the line?

“With regard to youngsters jumping off the bridge in the summer months, this is more of a policing matter.”

A spokesman for North Wales Police spokesman said the drama began at about 7.50pm when officers were sent to the bridge following a report of a man who was in a distressed situation.

“During dialogue between the man and police officers, the man entered the water and was immediately recovered by the emergency services. He was taken to hospital suffering from serious injuries,” the spokesman added.

North Wales Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the bridge fall to contact the police/fire service joint control room on 101 quoting incident reference number L157814.

See full story in the Leader

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