Calls for improved safety at Accrington shopping centre after death
2:00pm Saturday 7th June 2014 in North West
ALMOST 2,000 people have joined an internet group calling on the owners of Accrington’s Arndale Centre to improve safety measures.
It came after a 17-year-old Oswaldtwistle girl, who has not been named, fell to her death from the top of the centre’s multi-storey car park on Thursday, just hours before a 33-year-old woman was detained after threatening to jump off.
The group was set up by Sarah Clitheroe, 30, from Accrington, who said: “The car park is becoming notorious and this is just one in a long line of fatalities in the last few years.”
Five people have died in five years after falling from the Arndale Centre, owned by private company Jesta Group.
Dozens of people took to social media sites to express their shock and grief at the latest tragedy.
Elaine Gabrielle Ryan said: “It is horrible to feel so low, you think that is the best and only solution. Thoughts and prayers are with the young girl and her family.”
And Shirley Howard added: “A split second decision with such tragic consequences, breaks your heart. RIP, thoughts are with her family and friends.”
Hyndburn Council’s deputy leader Joan Smith said the council was unable to act directly, but would be approaching Jesta in the near future.
She said: “There has been a lot of public concern expressed about this tragedy and calls have been made for the council to either demolish the building or to install safety measures in the car park.
“These views have been widely made through the social media and it is clear that local people feel very strongly about what has happened.
“The Arndale Centre and its car parks are private property and that they are in no way owned or controlled by the council.
“We will be contacting the owners of the centre to again ask that they review the security of their building and take any steps necessary to try and prevent further occurrences of this kind.”
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