Cumbria

Carlisle chimney death granddad died of hypothermia

Robert Philip Longcake Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Robert "Phil" Longcake was adored by his three grandchildren, his family said

A grandfather who was stuck upside down for 15 hours at the top of a 290ft chimney died of hypothermia and cerebral swelling, his inquest heard.

Robert Philip Longcake became trapped in sub-zero temperatures in the Dixons Chimney in Carlisle at about 02:00 GMT on 28 October.

His body was brought down shortly before 17:00 GMT by rescue teams.

An inquest in Cockermouth was told the 53-year-old, known as Phil, died as a result of "inverted suspension".

Coroner Kirsty Gomersal said police arrived shortly after 02:20, amid reports Mr Longcake was trapped after climbing a ladder.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Roads near the chimney were closed while emergency crews tried to rescue Mr Longcake

The 14-hour rescue operation was watched by shocked members of the public and described by emergency services as "very complex and precarious".

A 90-metre cherry picker brought down from Glasgow eventually allowed rope rescue specialists to reach Mr Longcake, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest heard Mr Longcake, a crematorium technician, from Dalston near Carlisle, was formally identified by his wife, Andrea.

Ms Gomersal said: "The details of Mr Longcake's death are that he was found suspended by his ankle, which had been wedged between brickwork and a ladder on Dixon's chimney.

"After a lengthy recovery operation, Mr Longcake was sadly declared deceased at the scene."

No family members were present at the hearing, which was adjourned until March.

Mr Longcake's family previously described him as a "fantastic granddad" who had recently struggled with his mental health.

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