Tile removed from Blackburn's Mall shopping centre following safety fears (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Tile removed from Blackburn's Mall shopping centre following safety fears
8:00am Saturday 29th September 2012 in News
SPECIALIST contractors were yesterday removing all of the hundreds of tiles on the Church Street frontage of the Mall shopping centre in Blackburn.
It came after a second tile fell on Wednesday, narrowly missing a diner on the market cafe terrace below.
Daniel Moffett, owner of Butler’s family restaurant, and traders welcomed the move.
Mall general manager Loraine Jones said it was hoped the safety measure would be completed this weekend.
The tiles have been in place since the £68million Mall development was completed two years ago.
Mr Moffett had to comfort a shaken customer after Wednesday’s tile fall, the second inside five weeks, when she was showered by debris.
He said: “It’s the right thing to do. I’d rather they took them all off and made sure it was safe than risk another fall where someone could not just get injured but killed.
“I dread to think what would have happened if the tile had fallen when someone was coming out of our doors with a pram. It’s about time they acted.
“We are about to spend almost £5,000 on a new continental cafe-style open air terrace with an alcohol licence but we cannot go ahead till this area is made safe. We cannot afford one of our customers to be hit by another tile fall.”
Malcolm Marsden, owner of Whitaker’s Butchers in the market hall, said: “It’s about time. It’s what they’ve got to do. It’s just common sense.”
Stewart Cunliffe, of nearby Sanderson’s Bakery, said: “It’s the right thing to do. It’s got to be safe. If they don’t do this and make sure the tiles are secure it could happen again.”
Ms Jones said: “The security and safety of our customers and the local community remains our key priority and therefore we can confirm that, as a precautionary measure, all the tiles are being removed. The aim is to have the all the tiles removed before the end of Friday evening. We would like to thank our customers for their understanding as we seek to resolve this matter as swiftly as possible.”
Market manager Keith Holden said, “We are aware that the tiles on the façade of the building are under investigation by professional contractors and hope that the situation comes to a swift and safe conclusion.”