Lucky escape when telegraph pole came crashing down in gales

The telegraph pole which toppled over into the family's garden
The telegraph pole which toppled over into the family's garden

A family had a lucky escape when this telegraph pole came crashing down in severe gales – narrowly missing theirs and a neighbour’s home.

Stephen Briggs and his family were startled to hear the pole, which has a street light attached, come down during Wednesday night’s gale, around 10.20pm.

But Stephen, a Caterpillar worker, claims the incident, in Moncrieff Terrace, Easington, could have been avoided had Durham County Council got back to him after he reported that the pole had been leaning since October 2012. He said he reported it at least four times, but no one ever got back to him, but the council say action was taken.

Stephen, 38, whose nine-year-old son Ryan, step-son Nathan, 20 and wife Lisa, a cleaner at St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School, were in the house at the time, said: “I find it disgusting that Durham County council would not react to something thatserious.”

But John Reed, head of technical services, said the council checked the pole twice and no faults were found and a problem underground which wouldn’t have shown on checks, with high winds, caused the collapse. He said it isn’t usual policy to feedback after an investigation.

Light rain is expected today with 16mph winds and but there should be a brighter outlook tomorrow with sunny spells.