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Abseil rescue for man under bridge

Published 12/07/2015

A man clinging to the rafters underneath Lambeth Bridge in central London before he was rescued (@TowerRNLI/PA)
A man clinging to the rafters underneath Lambeth Bridge in central London before he was rescued (@TowerRNLI/PA)

A man clinging to the rafters of a bridge swung himself into the arms of an abseiling fire officer, after causing a major road closure.

The Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade and RNLI were called to reports of a man underneath Lambeth Bridge in central London at 5.55pm yesterday.

Emergency services closed the bridge in both directions and diverted traffic.

A fire officer was lowered over the side of the bridge, where he appeared to coax the man - who was wearing tracksuit bottoms - to safety.

The man swung from rafter to rafter, as though they were monkey bars in a playground, and then into the arms of the fire officer.

The two men were then lowered to a waiting fire brigade boat and whisked away.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the man had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital.

Lawrence Dabir-Alai, 20, watched the drama from the embankment.

He said: "Firemen were talking to him for quite a long time and eventually they managed to convince him, apparently.

"I was a bit worried but his (exit) explains how he got up there."

The bridge has been reopened.

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