Hereford & Worcester

Injured bell-ringer winched 80ft from Worcester Cathedral bell tower

Rescue at Worcester Cathedral Image copyright H and W Fire Service
Image caption Ian Bowman had to be lowered down from the bell tower after fracturing bone in his back

A man had to be lowered 80ft (24m) when he was injured after being flipped upside down and dropped in a freak bell-ringing accident at a cathedral.

Pictures show Ian Bowman, who had been in the bell tower, being brought to the ground at Worcester Cathedral by a specialist rescue unit.

A bell rope had caught his heel during Saturday's evensong.

"The rope went round my ankle and it took me from standing to upside down in seconds," he said.

Mr Bowman, 51, fractured a bone in his back, but is able to walk.

He was lowered down from the tower on a spinal board before being taken to hospital.

Mr Bowman said: "It [the rope] just flicked me upside down - that's what did the damage."

More on the tower rescue, and other news

Mr Bowman, a mechanic, from Widecombe-in-the-Moor, in Devon, was performing as a visiting bell-ringer.

He praised the "amazing" firefighters who rescued him, adding paramedics and hospital staff were also excellent.

He said of his injury: "It's pretty painful but it's just one of those things.

"It was just an accident - these things do happen sometimes in life."

Mark Regan, ringing master at the cathedral, told the Worcester News it was a "freak accident".

"He went up in the air a couple of feet and landed awkwardly," he said.

Image copyright H and W Fire Service
Image caption Mr Bowman was lowered to safety by a specialist rope rescue unit
Image copyright H and W Fire and Rescue
Image caption Pictures posted by the fire service show him being brought to the ground
Image copyright H and W Fire and Rescue
Image caption Group commander Grant Wills said it was a technical and challenging job

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