Barrow journalists escape ceiling collapse

Journalists on the Barrow-based North West Evening Mail were lucky to escape unscathed when a large section of the ceiling in their newsroom collapsed last week.

Part of the newsroom ceiling fell at 11.30am on Wednesday morning.

No-one was hurt, but according to one eye-witness, who contacted Press Gazette: ‘It is a miracle no one died or was maimed.”

They said that management knew about the weakness in the roof and questioned why no report of the incident was carried in the next day’s paper.

The anonymous email said: “We, the workers, are appalled by this state of affairs – quite apart from the fact that our lives were imperiled, we know full well that should this shocking incident have occurred in any other workplace in our catchment area, and particularly if we had great on-the-scene images, we would have splashed on it the next day and ripped the company involved to shreds.”

The Evening Mail goes to press at 10.30am in the morning and the incident did not disrupt production of the next day’s paper, or of a weekly free paper which went to press that day.

Editor Jonathan Lee said: “It was identified that the skylight needed replacing. Builders were contacted but they failed to turn up, a second lot of builders were contacted but before they got there this thing collapsed.

“At no point before was there any suggestion that this thing was going to collapse. If we had thought that we wouldn’t have had anyone working anywhere near the area.”

He added: “We are delighted that nobody was hurt. Staff safety is paramount and there is an internal investigation underway to find out how this happened.”

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