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Pensioner locked in Birchington library

A pensioner trapped in Birchington library after staff went home and locked the doors has been freed by police.

Retired removal man Peter Haselgrove, 75, was forced to call 999 following the gaffe by employees at the building in Alpha Road at 2pm.

He was left stuck in the library with alarms sounding around him for two hours.

Birchington Library
Birchington Library

Speaking to KentOnline before he was rescued, he said: "I only popped in for 10 minutes and suddenly the alarms started going off.

"I tried the doors and they were locked and everyone had gone.

"I eyed up the toilet window but I had a fall last week and damaged myself, so I didn't want to get stuck.

"I called 999 and they contacted KCC, who are apparently sending someone on the train to let me out."

"I hope they hurry up - I'm almost 76. I could die in here," he joked.

Before the council worker arrived, a local police officer saw Mr Haselgrove at the window and came to his rescue.

"I managed to grab his attention and luckily he had a set of keys for the fire doors," he said.

"I'm just having a coffee now in Minnis Bay with my wife to replenish myself.

"I'm driving so I might have something stronger when I get home. If there's any complementary wine going, I'm into white."

A Kent County Council spokesman contacted KentOnline this evening to apologise to Mr Haselgrove - and offer him that wine.

"We are very sorry about what happened to Mr Haselgrove," Thom Morris said.

"We are glad the local officer was able to free him before we could return to open the door.

"We fully intend to get in touch with Mr Haselgrove to apologise personally and get him that bottle of white wine."

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