Tiles are being removed from the Church Street frontage of The Mall shopping centre in Blackburn after a second one fell 50 feet onto a cafe terrace within weeks.
It narrowly missed a customer at Butler’s Cafe having a mid-morning cuppa yesterday, showering her with debris and leaving her shocked and shaken.
The incident came less than five weeks after the shopping centre owners promised that the frontage was safe following a similar incident.
Now Daniel Moffett, owner of Butler’s Family Restaurant who again finds his open-air terrace sealed off, and market stall holders are angry and concerned for the safety of customers and pedestrians.
On August 23 the Mall promised there would be no repeat of the “isolated incident” due to high winds which saw part of Church Street sealed off for a week, forcing Mr Moffett to close his outdoor area and preventing access to his restaurant through the doors underneath the tiling.
Mr Moffett said last night: “I am shocked, stunned and angry. We were promised that the tiling had been thoroughly checked and was safe. Then this happens scarcely a month later.
“One of my customers was 15 feet away when the tile fell, smashing on the street and showering her with debris. She was shocked and shaken.
“I am worried for the safety of mine and market customers. We have had two lucky escapes and I don’t want it to be third time unlucky.
“This is ridiculous and needs to be sorted properly. I heard some of the workmen talking and they said all the tiles were loose. This is dangerous.”
Stewart Cunliffe of Sanderson’s bakery said: “It ludicrous. It must be devastating for Butlers for this to happen again.
“It puts the safety of their customers, market customers and pedestrians in Church Street at risk.”
Yesterday, Mall general manager Loraine Jones said: “We can confirm that unfortunately a second tile has come loose from the frontage of the Mall but are pleased to report that no one was hurt by the tile.
"The security and safety of our customers and the local community are our key priority and we can confirm that the tiling was recently checked and deemed safe.
"However, due to the recent incident we will ensure further investigations will be undertaken as a matter of urgency and in the meantime, as a precautionary measure, we are looking into the possibility of removing all the tiles.
"We would like to thank our customers for their understanding as we seek to resolve this matter as swiftly as possible.”