A TEENAGE girl has died after jumping from a multi-storey car park.
The 17-year-old was the fifth person in five years to die after falling from the top of Accrington’s Arndale Centre.
Just hours later a 33-year-old woman also threatened to jump from a ledge at the car park and was talked down by police officers.
Calls have now been made for safety measures to be brought in at the shopping centre to prevent any further tragedies.
Police were called to the scene at around 10am yesterday after receiving reports of a ‘young female’ on the top of the car park.
The area around Union Street was closed to cars and pedestrians and shops and offices shut while police talked to the Oswaldtwistle teenager, who has not been named.
A police spokesman said: “Police were called shortly after 10am to a report that a female was threatening to jump from the multi-storey car park at the Arndale Centre at Accrington.
“Officers attended the scene but unfortunately she jumped from the building at about 10.45am.
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“She was taken by ambulance to the Royal Blackburn Hospital but sadly died.
“Her next of kin have been informed and are being offered support by specially trained officers.
“There are no suspicious circumstances and a file will be prepared for the coroner.”
A spokeswoman from the North West Ambulance Service said that the woman suffered ‘massive head injuries’.
Just hours later a 33-year-old woman was detained by police after she also threatened to jump.
A police spokesman said: “We received a call shortly after 1.30pm of a person threatening to throw themselves off the ledge.
“She has now been detained under the mental health act.”
The two women are not believed to have any connections.
The incident comes in the wake of calls last June for safety measures to be brought in at the centre.
Managers at the centre called an urgent meeting to talk about preventing futher tragedies. Yesterday no-one was available for comment.
A Facebook group was set up by Sarah Clitheroe, from Accrington, calling for greater security measures to be installed at the ‘notorious’ car park.
More than 1,000 people joined the group yesterday following the tragedy.
The 30-year-old, from Lindadale Avenue, said: “My sister and cousin committed suicide so it’s something that’s very close to my heart.
“It makes me really angry that very little seems to have been done about improving the safety up there.
“It’s not something that we can ever fully get rid of and stop but if we can prevent people using that car park then we should take comfort from that.
“The car park is becoming notorious and this is just one in a long line of fatalities in the last few years.
“This affects the whole community and because Accrington isn’t a big town, if you kick one of us then we all limp.
“We need to help each other and I’m glad that so many people have already signed up to the Facebook group.”
Last June, Michael Singleton, coroner for Blackburn, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, said he would write to the Arndale Centre's owners about taking steps to prevent further incidents following the death of 21-year-old Muniza Mehrban.
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones added: “This is really sad news that individuals feel so desperate and lonely that they want to take their own life.
“We have to do more to help people and the support services for people who need them.
“If people are determined to take their own life, they will. What we need is to reach out to them before that happens.
“The family will be devastated and I feel for them. At this time, we must support the family as well as the lady who was talked down.”
Council leader Miles Parkinson said: “It’s disturbing. As a council we have discussed this with the Arndale Centre and I’m sure the owners will want to address this issue.
“We will be talking to the Arndale Centre to see what measures can be brought. We have already discussed this previously and will be raising it with them again.”
To sign up to the Facebook group, visit: www.facebook.com/groups/1431451143782832/