Diners hurt as ceiling collapses in Bolton restaurant

crews at venue Image copyright Musab Patel
Image caption A section of the ceiling landed on diners

Five people were hurt when part of a restaurant ceiling fell on them as they dined beneath, police have said.

They were treated by paramedics at the Sizzling Palate restaurant in Bolton at about 22:30 BST on Saturday.

Some customers criticised the venue's management, with one saying: "Not one came down to ask if anyone was OK."

Assistant manager Mohammad Amiri disputed complaints, saying managers were busy talking to 999 crews while "staff attended to customers".

He said the incident was in the basement of the three-floor venue, which "continued to trade as normal".

Mr Amiri said: "A section of a suspended ceiling in the lower ground restaurant came loose from its fixing and dropped.

"A couple of customers sustained some minor cuts and bruising."

Image caption The ceiling section was lifted to let people get out from underneath

Huzaifa Chunara, from Manchester, was having a meal with his wife and 12 friends when the ceiling dropped.

"There was no creaking... no indication that it was going to let go," he said.

He said it landed on his wife and friends but just missed him.

"They were trapped beneath for about 30 seconds."

Another customer, who did not want to be named, said: "People panicked, were shocked, had no idea what was happening, so the men just got up and tried to lift the ceiling off people.

"There were a good 15-20 people that had to actually try and hold the ceiling up but… once people got out from underneath, they put it back on the table.

Image caption This section of ceiling came loose from its fixing, the restaurant said

"Fire and police were there quite quickly, within five minutes.

"What was really shocking was that no management came to talk to us, [check that] people were OK - it was just the people that were injured that had to take charge."

Mr Chunara said a waiter helped after the ceiling section fell but "not one [manager] came down to ask if anyone was OK".

"There was no protocol in place," he said.

He said one woman, who was wearing a neck restraint, had to be taken out on a stretcher.

Mr Amiri said: "Management were involved in communicating with emergency services while staff attended to customers.

"We did not want to create any panic. We just wanted to keep things calm.

"One person was taken to hospital as a matter of precaution."