Utility firm faces questions after boy’s canal fall death

Scene of canal death on Lowerhouse Lane, Burnley
Scene of canal death on Lowerhouse Lane, Burnley
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A utility company has said it owns the pipe where a young Burnley boy fell to his death last week but refused to say whether the area will now be fenced off.

Robbie Williamson (11), of Bear Street, had been using the pipe to cross the canal in Lowerhouse Lane when he lost his balance and fell, slipping into the water.

Residents and Burnley’s MP Mr Gordon Birtwistle have called for the cast iron pipe over the Leeds and Liverpool Canal to prevent further tragedy.

National Grid said it owns the gas pipe but, when asked if safety measures would be put in place in the wake of the accident, a spokeswoman said she could not comment further for legal reasons.

“National Grid owns the gas pipe. We are committed to fully supporting any investigation or inquiry which is carried out into the circumstances of Robbie Williamson’s death. Our sympathies are with his family and friends. We are unable to comment further at this stage for legal reasons.”

Read what a neighbour has to say about the danger in tomorrow’s Express