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Pensioner demands utility firm apology after manhole scooter crash

A pensioner in Christchurch near Bournemouth has demanded an apology from SGN after her mobility scooter fell into a manhole.

Betty Bowen who lives at a retirement home in the town, suffers from spinal problems and had to be lifted from her scooter by workers following the accident.

As reported in the Bournemouth Echo, SGN has been carrying out gas repairs for a few days and had put plastic fencing around the worksite.

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When passing the site, the wheel of Bowen’s scooter hit the footings of the fencing which caused her scooter to end up in the manhole.

Speaking to the Bournemouth Echo, friend and neighbour, Brian Holmwood, said: “She was on her mobility scooter passing the SGN gas repairs on the pavement by the old Indian restaurant and the gas company had not left enough room between the pavement and the open manhole.”

Adding: “She has been suffering with back problems for a long time so it’s just as well she didn’t fall off her scooter otherwise it could have been a lot worse. When she came back to the home, she was shaking and trembling, she was really shook up by it.”

The manhole has since been covered and the fences have been replaced by flat plastic sheets.

Responding to the incident, a spokesman from SGN said: “We’re carrying out emergency repairs to our gas main in Lymington Road and have barriers in place around our work area for safety reasons.

“Last week, our engineers were aware that an elderly lady had difficulty moving past our work area and gave her some help. We’ve not since had any contact with the lady.”

Tags : mobility scooterscooter safety
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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