Investigations continue into glass fall problems

A safety probe remains ongoing two months after a large pane of glass plummeted to the floor inside Wigan Council's Life Centre.

Friday, 30th September 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:07 pm
Signs alert members of the public to the problem

Since the incident - which was the second in as many years - temporary measures have been in place to shore up the outer structure at the local authority hub.

An investigation was launched amid calls for a comprehensive review but council bosses are still to decide on a course of action.

Tragedy was averted by quick-thinking staff who heard the pane shatter and made sure no-one was underneath it when it fell 20ft to the ground.

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Wigan Council built the Life Centre as part of a private-finance initiative (PFI) and are therefore tenants of the building. Bosses met with owners Equitex last week, a town hall spokesperson told the Evening Post.

Penny McGinty, assistant director for leisure and property said: “The safety of visitors and our staff is our first priority and a number of measures to protect everyone’s safety based on expert advice have already been put in place.

“As tenants both Wigan Council and Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles are working with the building owners who are continuing to investigate what was the cause of these incidents.

“We are liaising with the owners Equitex on their progress to prevent incidents like this happening in future and are hoping to see developments in the next few weeks.”

Conservative opposition leader of the authority Coun Mike Winstanley called for a safety review shortly after the incident in July.

The main entrance off Believe Square was temporarily closed off to the public but was soon reopened with scaffolding in place.

Concerns had been voiced the accident could have been caused by the hot weather affecting the pressure between the glass panels but this is yet to be confirmed.

The previous incident in 2014, which also saw a glass panel plummet from the outer structure, also occurred in the summer months.

And the Evening Post understands one option being considered at the town hall is a complete replacement of the structure’s glass facade, which could prove to be a costly option.