Pedestrian’s narrow escape after falling metal plate

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A pedestrian had a narrow escape when a piece of metal fell from a derelict building, missing him by inches.

Roddy Bain (52), from Linlithgow Bridge, was walking past the Victoria Halls in the High Street when the cover plate of a light fitting on the side of the building became dislodged and fell from a height.

West Lothian Council inspected the light last Saturday and said the light fitting blew off in high winds which it said was “unusual”.

Pictures of the fitting showed the metal plate and screws rusted, and the light fitting held in place by a broken cable tie.

Roddy, a caterer at the local rugby club, admitted the incident – which happened a week ago – could have been a lot worse.

He said: “I was very lucky as it was extremely close. I think I’ll be putting a lottery ticket on this week. It was raining so I had my head down and the bit came down and landed two inches from my foot.

“It wasn’t overly heavy but it was falling from some height so it could have split my head open. It could have been a mother with a pram, it could have caught the side of it.

“The building is in a state. Something needs to be done about it. Bits of masonry have fallen off it in previous years.”

A spokesperson for the council said: “We were advised that a cover plate from a street light which is attached to the Victoria Halls blew off in the recent high winds. 

“This is very unusual.  As soon as we were made aware of the issue on Thursday, March 16 we attended and made the light fitting safe. Similar units on Linlithgow High Street have also been checked.”