Coroner probes danger Burnley bridge

Photo Ian Robinson'Mary Hirst who is concerned about the safety of the gas pipes over the Leeds Liverpool Canal at Gannow

Photo Ian Robinson'Mary Hirst who is concerned about the safety of the gas pipes over the Leeds Liverpool Canal at Gannow

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The East Lancashire Coroner has written to the Health and Safety Executive and National Grid to discover what safety work has been planned for bridges along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal – the scene of a fatal accident this year.

Coroner Mr Richard Taylor made the inquiry after the Express highlighted safety concerns over other bridges along the canal at Gannow and Rosegrove, where 11-year-old Robbie Williamson lost his life in April.

Robbie Williamson (11) who died after falling into the canal in Burnley (s)

Robbie Williamson (11) who died after falling into the canal in Burnley (s)

The popular schoolboy slipped and fell while walking along a gas pipe underneath one of the bridges.

The inquest into his death will be held in Burnley on March 4th and Mr Taylor wants to know ahead of that what is being done to make other bridges safe.

A spokesman for Mr Taylor said: “The Coroner has written to the Health and Safety Executive and National Grid requesting their comments regarding what work is being done to other bridges on the canal to minimise the risk of any future accidents.”

The Express highlighted public concerns over other bridges on Friday, prompting the National Grid to release the following statement.

A spokesman said: “We have carried out work to check the protection on other bridges in the area and I can confirm the pipe over the bridge in Gannow Lane does belong to us and is due to have some work done on it to further enhance the level of protection on it.

“We’re still in discussions with the Canal and Rivers Trust over the form this will take as this is an historic bridge and they want to preserve its appearance.

“We are due to have a site meeting with them shortly to finalise the design of the additional protection and once agreed, this will be installed as soon as possible.”