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Cherry picker called in to Carlisle chimney incident

Police say there has been no contact ‘for some time’ with a man trapped 270ft up a chimney.

A hydraulic platform is raised at Dixon’s Chimney in Carlisle (Danny Lawson/PA)
A hydraulic platform is raised at Dixon’s Chimney in Carlisle (Danny Lawson/PA)

By Pat Hurst, PA

Emergency services are awaiting the arrival of a cherry picker to recover a man stuck 270ft up a chimney.

Police were first called at 2.22am to reports of a man trapped on the top of Dixon’s Chimney in Carlisle, Cumbria.

His condition is not known but he has now been trapped upside down at the top of the structure for around 11 hours.

Cumbria Police said while there has been no contact with him for some time, it is being treated as a rescue.

A Coastguard helicopter attempted a rescue earlier on Monday but the operation was aborted due to the precarious position of the trapped individual.

Fire chiefs at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service made a public appeal for a cherry picker or aerial work platform.

Steeplejacks, mountain rescue and firefighters are now awaiting the industrial-scale cherry picker to assist the operation.

Superintendent Matt Kennerley, of Cumbria Police, said: “We are looking at various options to rescue this man safely.

“So far, the multi-agency response has seen us utilise technology including drones.

“A helicopter has been used to try to rescue the man and efforts have been made to try to drop a technical rescue team on to the chimney to rescue him.

This is an extremely complex and rare incident and requires the specialisms of all the agencies to work together Superintendent Matt Kennerley

“These two attempts have not been successful so far due to concerns over how securely the man is attached to the ladder at the top of the chimney – and the potential danger of backdrafts from the helicopter.

“These concerns over how securely he is attached have also prevented us from sending someone up the ladder from the bottom. The ladder is also damaged.

“Ladders used by Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service will be mobilised to see if they can assist while we are awaiting the arrival of the cherry picker.

“This is an extremely complex and rare incident and requires the specialisms of all the agencies to work together.

“We are very concerned about the man involved and all those involved in this operation are working tirelessly to bring this to a safe conclusion for all.

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The helicopter rescue operation at Dixon’s Chimney in Carlisle (Tim Graham/Twitter)

Mr Kennerley added: “Police officers are with the man’s family offering them support throughout this.

“We would like to thank the public for their patience as we work to safely rescue this man.

“We are doing all we can to minimise disruption to the public and businesses.”

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

The chimney is around 270ft tall, is a Grade II listed building and when built was the largest chimney in the country, 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 this morning before police arrived on the scene.

PA

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