Urgent safety checks after man killed in high winds

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LEEDS Council is “looking urgently” at ways of making an area of the city centre safer during periods of high winds following an incident which left one man dead and a woman seriously injured.

An unnamed 35-year-old man from Calderdale died after a curtain-sided lorry toppled on to him and the woman in 60mph winds in Neville Street, near Bridgewater Place, on Thursday.

The 22-year-old woman from Leeds is still being treated in Leeds General Infirmary, but is now able to talk.

Building owners Bridgewater Place Ltd say the impact of the building was analysed before planning permission was obtained.

However, Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan said there were unforeseen wind effect issues since the structure was completed. He added: “We are looking urgently at other ways of making the area safer.”

In 2008 Chris Gilman, a director at Landmark Developments which developed the building with St James Securities, said it was “very likely” windbreaks would be installed but no scheme was put in place.

Bridgewater Place Ltd said an initial report on the effect of windbreaks was inconclusive, but a joint investigation in to new measures was continuing.