Wednesday 13 November 2019

Man dies trapped at top of 82-metre chimney

Grim task: The operation to bring the man down from the Cumbrian chimney. Photo: PA
Grim task: The operation to bring the man down from the Cumbrian chimney. Photo: PA

Pat Hurst

Police in England have confirmed a man trapped at the top of a 270ft (82-metre) chimney has died despite desperate attempts to rescue him.

Paramedics pronounced the man, in his 50s and from Carlisle, dead at the scene at around 4.45pm yesterday after a specialist team used ropes and a cherry-picker to bring him down, around 14 hours after police were first called to local landmark Dixon's Chimney in Carlisle, Cumbria.

Police said they believe they know the identity of the man and welfare officers were with his family.

A police spokesman said: "An investigation will commence into the circumstances of how and why the man was on the chimney."

Police were first called at 2.22am to reports of a man trapped at the top of the chimney, with fire and ambulances also scrambled to the scene. A Coastguard helicopter had attempted a rescue earlier but the operation was aborted due to the precarious position of the trapped man.

Fire chiefs at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service had made a public appeal for a cherry-picker. The platform arrived and a specialist working-at-height team from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service completed the operation.

Roads around the structure, a prominent local landmark which was built in 1836, have been closed.

The chimney is a Grade II listed building and when built was the tallest chimney in England, according to a citation on the Historic England website.

Local reports said shouts and wailing could be heard coming from the chimney in the early hours of yesterday morning before police arrived on the scene.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News