A WOMAN who plunged 15ft from an upstairs window of her home suffered serious injuries to her back and legs.

Neighbours in Brandwood Street, Darwen, ran to her aid after the fall.

The ambulance service later apologised that it took more than 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

Witnesses said that the woman, who is in her 50s, had a cord around her neck when she fell.

But the rope snapped, sending her crashing to the ground.

Neighbour Paul Davis, 44, said: “I heard a noise and came outside. I could see the window was wide open.

“She was in a lot of pain. We just tried to keep her calm and get her help.”

The incident happened at 9.40am yesterday.

Locksmith Gary Simpson, 26, was working on a nearby house at the time.

The worker for Premier Locksmiths, Blackburn, said: “She had injured her back and legs and was very upset.

“We rang for an ambulance but couldn’t believe how long it took.

“I had to ring back after 20 minutes and it finally came after half an hour. Every minute counts in these situations.”

A spokesman for the North West Ambulance Service said the call was received at 09.39 and an ambulance, from Leyland, was on scene at 10.12, 33 minutes later.

The target response time for this call was 19 minutes.

Peter Mulcahy, NWAS head of service, said: “The trust apologises for the delay this patient experienced and under-stands how distressing this can be.

“Although the trust strives to attend to every patient as quickly as possible, on this occasion the service was busy and all nearby ambulances were dealing with emergencies when the call was received.

“As soon as an ambulance became available it was sent straight to the scene.”