STAFF and shoppers at a Pontefract charity shop had a lucky escape last week when the store’s ceiling collapsed.
The Prince of Wales Hospice shop in Cornmarket was evacuated when rubble, concrete and metal support beams fell through the ceiling at around 2pm on Wednesday February 15.
Marion Franks, shop manager, said: “We are very lucky no-one was killed.
“It was very scary when we saw the beams fall through the ceiling. If one of our volunteers hadn’t noticed the dust coming down, we would definitely have had a fatality on our hands.
“First we saw dust falling, then the tiles started to bend and suddenly, rubble, concrete and metal posts started falling through. The insulation seems to have stopped the whole ceiling from caving in altogether.”
Half of the store reopened on Wednesday February 22 but the shop will not be fully opened until all repairs have met health and safety regulations.
Sue Cunniff, hospice operations manager, said: “This is a major catastrophe for us and we have lost thousands of pounds from having to close the shop and binning stock that was damaged.
“Some of the elderly volunteers have been crying at the thought of the shop losing money.”