Urgent repairs in Pier boards collapse scare

Mr Sedgwick (below) said he believed the damage was caused by a train vehicle
Mr Sedgwick (below) said he believed the damage was caused by a train vehicle
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The owner of North Pier has confirmed a section of decking which a holidaymaker put his foot through has been fully repaired.

A tourist was left with leg injuries on Tuesday following the incident, with firefighters called to free the man.

Mr Sedgwick

Mr Sedgwick

Today Peter Sedgwick, who owns North, South and Central Piers, said staff had fixed the issue – believing it was caused by a mobile train used to take visitors up and down the pier.

He told The Gazette: “We have fixed it straight away and recovered it.

“We had 1,500 people here on Monday for Jason Manford, but we think it was a train we use to transport people which has caused a piece of wood to fracture, with someone then going and stepping on it.”

Mr Sedgwick said pier staff check each site every morning – including the decking, rides and amusements – before opening.

We have fixed it straight away and recovered it

Peter Sedgwick

He added the train service is used to help people who have difficulty walking to visit the top of the pier and the theatre.

He said: “We just think the train has gone over one piece – it is three inches wide.

“We walk the deck in the morning and check it all. To come for a day out and get that upset is a shame.

“We do feel for him. He came back later and seemed OK.

“It is just one of those things.”

Firefighters from Blackpool Fire Station were called to the incident around 2.30pm, with crews at the scene for more than 30 minutes helping to free the man.

An ambulance was called and he was treated by paramedics.

The couple are believed to have been visiting the resort from Birmingham.

Mr Sedgwick bought the Central and South Piers last month.

He and his family bought them for an undisclosed sum from Lancashire entrepreneur Trevor Hemmings’ Crown Entertainment Centres. They had put them up for sale in March for £8.1m.

The oldest and longest of Blackpool’s piers, North Pier was built during Victorian times, in 1862, by a Glasgow engineering firm.

Mr Sedgwick admitted work is continuing to strengthen the structure following storm damage 18 months ago.

He added: “We had 1,500 people on there the night before and it was busy all day on the pier too.

“It is one of those things which has happened. We have boarded it all over, working all day and night to fi x it.

“The piers are old and we have spent a lot on them.

“North Pier was in a mess when we got it and people do not realise the amount of steel underneath.

“The storm knocked us back two years. We are sorry about it and will make sure it does not happen again.”