B&Q: We are sorry

BOSSES at the Worthing B&Q store this week apologised for a DIY disaster that put four people, including a paramedic, in hospital.

An urgent investigation is under way to discover how display kitchen cupboards could have fallen 15ft onto shoppers.

And the national DIY chain said it was sorry for the incident and pledged the store was now safe for shoppers.

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Four people, including the paramedic, were hurt on Saturday afternoon when the cupboards crashed onto customers at the Lyons Farm branch in Worthing. A paramedic who was first on the scene and in the middle of putting a fluid line into the hand of one of the injured was hurt when another cupboard fell onto his neck and back.

Janine Bell, spokeswoman for Sussex Ambulance, said: "The paramedic, who is based at Worthing, carried on treating patients even after he was injured and refused to leave the scene until everyone else had been treated and all the ambulances had taken the patients to hospital. He was very committed to his patients.

"We were called initially to the report of just one person being injured, but it turned out to be three. This was a very unusual incident."

A spokeswoman for B&Q said: "We are still trying to work out what happened. We apologise to our customers and assure them an internal, as well as external, investigation has been mounted to find out what happened."

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She insisted the shop was safe and said this was the first time anything like that had happened at the branch.

The incident happened at around 1.30pm on Saturday afternoon. Store managers closed the shop for the afternoon but it re-opened for business on Sunday.

Worthing Council's environmental health department is now investigating and will decide whether any further action should be taken against the company.

Worthing Council's Hadyn Smith said: "The council is the enforcement authority under the Health and Safety at Work Act. An investigation has been launched and the council will be ascertaining causes and will decide whether it is appropriate to take any prosecution proceedings."

He said witnesses, staff and those who were injured would all be talked to as part of the investigation but he said it was too early to say when the results would be known.

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