The terrifying moment a Wigan teenager risks his life

This is the stomach-churning moment a Wigan teenager risks his life dangling one-handed from the top of Pagefield Mill's 100ft chimney.

Monday, 11th June 2018, 10:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 11:32 am
The teenager, who we've chosen not to identify, hanging off the tower

The youngster, 17, who the Post has chosen not to name, posted his antics on his YouTube channel, boasting “this is extremely dangerous and very stupid”.

The troubling images and video have led police and fire chiefs to issue a fresh plea to borough youngsters urging them to stay away from the derelict site, in Swinley.

Pagefield Mill has become a magnet for teens willing to risk life and limb exploring the abandoned building, which closed as a technical college in 2007.

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The huge tower at the Pagefield site

But the boy’s stunt is uniquely terrifying and is likely to lead to calls for the landmark site to be demolished.

The 17-year-old, a former pupil of a Wigan school, published the footage, then sent a version to the Wigan Post.

His four-minute film begins with the teen breaking into the former mill before walking across exposed beams tens of feet from the floor, then climbing the stair rung to the top of the enormous tower.

Once at the top, he filmed himself climbing through the railing and hanging with just one hand and foot off the edge of the brickwork using the other hand to hold a selfie stick, with the 100ft drop directly below him.

He told the Post: “I like climbing things and heights, I know if I fall I’ll probably die, but that’s why I’m careful. It doesn’t look like it but when I hung off with one hand I had a really tight grip and positioned my foot so it wouldn’t slip.

“Accidents do happen, you see it all the time with people climbing buildings. I just hope I never have an accident, you know. But it’s not going to stop me from doing it.

“I love it, also that was my 11th time climbing it so I knew exactly how to do it.”

At the beginning of the footage the teen has written a paragraph which admits that he knows what he is doing is illegal.

The text says: “This is extremely dangerous and illegal. I do it so you don’t have to.”

Since the former cotton mill and cottage was left empty, it has been plagued by trespassers, anti-social behaviour and arson attacks.

Wigan Council used legal powers to serve notice on the building’s private owners last year, instructing them to make the site safe and secure.

But this was not done and the council, along with the police and fire service, decided to take action instead.

Marie Bintley, assistant director for growth and housing, said: “We have made numerous public appeals urging people to stay aware from the site because it is extremely dangerous and unauthorised entry on this property is trespassing.

“Despite us not owning the building we have made a significant investment to make the site as secure as possible.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners, and with the new owners of the building, on this issue. Once again we can only urge that parents ensure their children are not entering the site.”