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Woman injured in Sheerness High Street after slipping on oil


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A woman was left in agony after slipping on oil and breaking her ankle.

Kind-hearted shopkeepers and passers-by rushed to her aid but it was more than two hours before an ambulance reached her.

An inquiry has now been demanded to discover how the oil ended up on the pavement outside the NatWest Bank in Sheerness High Street.

A woman was injured after slipping on oil in Sheerness High Street on Monday
A woman was injured after slipping on oil in Sheerness High Street on Monday

The accident happened just before 9am on Monday.

Julie Goulding, the bank's branch manager, was one of the first on the scene.

She said: "I turned up for work and the lady had already been put on a chair.

"We moved her into the bank because it was freezing outside but it took a good two hours before the ambulance arrived."

Workers cleaned up the pavement after a woman slipping on oil in Sheerness High Street on Monday
Workers cleaned up the pavement after a woman slipping on oil in Sheerness High Street on Monday

She added: "I'd like to thank everyone who helped. They were amazing."

Barber Lee Gibbons from the nearby Hair Profile said: "I went to help the lady get up but almost slipped over myself. It was proper dangerous and like black ice.

"The fat was so thick I was leaving footprints."

He used a warning triangle from his car and he and Julie grabbed parking cones from Beach Street and the Belle and Lion pub to cordon off the oil to stop anyone else falling over.

Lee, 36, collected the injured woman's sister from Jefferson Road to keep her company while waiting for medics.

He said: "The woman was very brave. The injury looked horrible."

Workers cleaned up the pavement after a woman slipping on oil in Sheerness High Street on Monday
Workers cleaned up the pavement after a woman slipping on oil in Sheerness High Street on Monday

He said he had seen three or four other shoppers slip on the pavement near the bank's cash machine the previous week and had reported it to the council-run Sheppey Gateway nearby.

Swale council's street cleaners from Biffa were soon on the scene on Monday and were joined by an emergency crew from Kent Highways who covered the area with biodegradable coconut chippings to soak up the oil.

Team leader Ian Young said: "It looked like cooking oil had been poured down the drains and then overflowed."

The drain was cleaned by a tanker crew later on Monday night.

Muslum Tasdogan who runs Rio's cafe said: "I have been complaining about this for months.

"Someone has been pouring oil down the drains and then when it rains it floods the pavement outside my shop."

Cleaning drains in Sheerness High Street on Monday night
Cleaning drains in Sheerness High Street on Monday night

He said old cooking oil from his own premises was always recycled.

Kent Highways is to shut the High Street next week to renew all the road's drains.

The injured woman, who was not named, is believed to be in her late 60s.

Relatives said she underwent an operation on her foot at Medway Maritime Hospital on Monday night.

At least two other people reported on Facebook they had slipped and injured themselves in the High Street since Thursday last week.

Brian Spoor, who chairs the Sheerness Town Team, said: "It seems someone has been pouring cooking oil down the drains. We need to find out who it is and ensure they stop. Everyone should know oil like this must be disposed of properly and not down the drains where it congeals and creates blockages."

A spokesman for South East Ambulance Service confirmed it took two hours for an ambulance to arrive.

He said: "As a category three incident we aim to respond within two hours. Another ambulance had been assigned earlier but had to be diverted to a higher category incident."

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